walt74 + nct   131

A viral hoax video has inspired Indian mobs to multiple, brutal murders
Link: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/20/indian-pizzagate.html

Someone edited a Pakistani child-safety education video to make it look like evidence of a ring of kidnappers was snatching children and taking them away on motorcycles; the video went viral in India, spread on Whatsapp, and it has inspired terrified mobs to attack and murder strangers on suspicion of being involved in the fictitious kidnapping rings.

The latest victims of the hoax are audio engineer Nilotpal Das and digital artist Abijeet Nath who were beaten to death when they stopped in a village in the state of Assam to ask for directions. Their murder was recorded and it, too, has gone viral -- it features one of the victims begging for his life as he is beaten.

There have been widespread protests over the hoax, with people chanting "don't believe the rumours."

The death toll from the hoax stands at eight. Dozens have been arrested for participating in mob violence.
nct  ncpin  DasGeileNeueInternet  Crime  OutrageMemetics  FakeNews  Fake  SocialMedia 
2 days ago by walt74
The Shocking Truth About Jordan Peterson
Good takedown by Wesley Yang of Illiberal Lefts' "Peterson-Criticism" and its hyperbole rhetorics: <a href="http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/262280/jordan-peterson">The Shocking Truth About Jordan Peterson – Meme Wars: How the Twitter mobs choose their targets </a>.
Here is the Achilles’ heel of the campaign to oust Jordan Peterson from the margins of respectable society: You don’t have to outsource your judgment to journalistic authorities in the age of the internet. You can see for yourself.

Millions of people have, of course, done exactly this. Contra any framing of Peterson as a dissident or pariah, he in fact provides an articulate defense of ideas and impulses that are much more popular than those of the keepers of the orthodoxies of the “mainstream” institutions intent on de-platforming him.

And here is the strange paradox and tension of our moment. A hyperbolic rhetoric of political purism nearly surreal in its intensity has not just captured our universities, but large segments of the popular press. Glamour magazine names Linda Sarsour to its Women of the Year list. Esquire.com runs a column claiming that “powerful white men, however outfacing liberal or progressive they may appear, are the architects of structural racism and white supremacy in America.” And the New York Times laments, in the wake of a mass shooting, that the underlying cause of such extreme events is that “boys are broken,” implying that the swamp that feeds such monstrous excrescences which must be drained—is masculine identity itself.

These bizarre doctrines, incubated in the furthest reaches of the political margins (and until recently confined there), are at once expressions of political despair and the millenarian aspiration that often rises up in the wake of political defeat. The rawest forms of identity politics, grounded in the metaphysical premise that “whiteness” and “masculinity” are constructs solely predicated on a domination that we cannot hope to escape until those toxic forms of identity have been “dismantled” or “abolished,” began as provocations by radical academics. They have since become viral memes infecting the thinking and rhetoric of a certain strand of progressive activist, and through them, an ever-growing swathe of the media-making class. The resort to them is indicative of a profound failure of the political imagination.

You can hear this in the visceral contempt with which Peterson’s “young white male” audience is described by his journalistic detractors, (most of whom are white, and many of whom are male). And yet this crucial piece of hearsay, linchpin of the Peterson narrative, is not true. It hasn’t been true for a while, if it ever was. Anyone who cares to know the truth can go out and find it: I saw it myself with my own eyes at three events I attended in the winter, as did the Maclean’s reporter who found that:

They are new Canadians, people of colour, men and women. And in a way that seems out of sync with op-ed portrayals of Peterson’s supporters as committed to preserving old hierarchies and positions of privilege—they often see themselves as searchers, truth-seekers and iconoclasts.

Popularity, even among people of color, is not, of course, proof in itself of the salubriousness of anything, especially in a world where Fox News, Breitbart, and InfoWars also command the attention of tens of millions. And indeed, Peterson really was avidly embraced at first by the far-right when he emerged, denouncing concepts of unconscious bias and white privilege, and stated his intention to defy any prospective attempt through the force of law to compel him to adopt gender-neutral pronouns in his classroom at the University of Toronto. In his rather coarse-grained and Manichaean analysis of so-called Social Justice Warriors, Peterson occasionally invoked a term, “Cultural Marxism,” whose lineage was said, by others, to have also birthed a far-right conspiracy theory that, in turn, figured prominently in the manifesto of the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik. So anyone playing a game of connect the dots in order to portray Peterson as part of a recrudescence of reactionary modernism has material to work with, some of it even provided by Peterson himself.

Yet it soon enough became clear to anyone paying attention that Peterson’s initial embrace by the alt-right was a case of mistaken identity. Eventually, the spokesmen of that poisonous and amorphous internet tendency decided in concert that Peterson had been sent by the left to disrupt their “movement” and siphon off its energies by redirecting it toward an individualistic creed that would prove fatal to their own racist ethnonationalism. Peterson then rapidly crossed over to an audience that is now many multiples the size of the cohort of problematic young males who first embraced, then rejected him, even as the progressive left tried to hold on to the alt-right’s original, mistaken read.

The novel cultural role that Peterson now inhabits—as the author of one of the bestselling books in five Anglophone countries—draws its sustenance from an entirely different aspect of his message, one that I tried to evoke in a recent profile I wrote of Peterson for Esquire. That message was cleverly packaged as “self-help.” But the deeper message, which lingered on the inescapability of suffering, tragedy, limitation, and loss, enjoined those consigned to such a fate, as we all are, to meet it through taking on the heaviest burden of responsibility they could bear. In other words, a message that was antithetical to the “get rich quick,” or “visualize your way to success” ethos endemic to the genre.

Peterson’s message isn’t novel. But neither is it merely banal. Yes, much of it consists of a program of remedial socialization and stern fatherly advice for those who lack such figures in their lives. But it also created a virtual substitute able to operate at scale for an institution missing from the lives of most young Americans: the weekly sermon, in which familiar moral precepts are affirmed, and each individual is called to measure himself against shared moral values. It is conservative in the deep rather than the superficially political sense of that word—embedded in practices and institutions that have survived the test of time and demonstrated their practical utility. Indeed, it is an ethos that once could have collaborated easily enough with social democratic and redistributive politics.

But a new kind of progressive politics has emerged in recent years, one that the philosopher John Gray, writing in the TLS, recently described as a kind of “hyperliberalism.” The universities, Gray wrote, have been transformed “into institutions devoted to the eradication of thought crime.” As I’ve argued in earlier columns, this overt assault on foundational principles of free speech and conscience is linked to a substantive progressive political project to transform the country through administrative fiat.

Yes, Peterson was a ferocious opponent of a politics in a new key that purported to speak on behalf of the interests of women and racial and sexual minorities. But that did not make him an ally of the alt-right. Nor did it make him an enemy of racial or sexual minorities. He was just as much an opponent of the alt-right as he was of the identitarian left. It did not even make his ascent, as one journalist at Vox called him, “emblematic of the way white male anxiety is producing new and powerful political movements across the West today,” or as another professor writing in Vox put it, a voice for a cohort of white men resentful to find “their culture invaded by women and minorities.” These somewhat more carefully hedged modes of calling Peterson a racist succumb to a dangerous fallacy—that of equating criticism of any ideological innovation that purports to speak on behalf of minorities as itself racist. The originators of the concept of unconscious bias have themselves conceded that their tests are not predictive of biased action in the world and that no evidence exists to support programs purporting to oust this form of original sin from people’s souls—and yet corporations continue to mandate participation in such programs. It is these sorts of dubious practices that Peterson criticizes—not the pursuit of equality itself.

To give a sense of the texture of Peterson’s actual thinking on race, for instance, you could listen to his reply to a student at Lafayette College, who asked him for his view of structural racism.

“It’s a multivariate problem,” Peterson begins:

No society is without its biases and prejudices, and some of them get built into the systems themselves. And so, when you look at unequal outcomes, and you’re trying to discover why those unequal outcomes exist, if you have any sense, you do a multivariate analysis, and you put in prejudice and discrimination as one of the factors. One of the factors. One of many, many factors.

The problem with the radical leftists is they take the fact that our structures are tyrannical to some degree and arbitrary—which of course they are, because they’re imperfect—and then they obliterate the rest of the complexity with that claim. So, there’s lots of reasons for inequality. Systemic bias is one of them. It’s an open question to what degree systemic bias plays in the inequality problem. But it’s something we could hypothetically address with some degree of detachment and intelligence. No system is perfect. And certainly not ours.

You’ll notice here what is both present and missing from Peterson’s reply. He doesn’t say, for instance, that inequality is something that the white race should seek to compound for its own benefit in order to stanch the rise of minorities in a zero-sum game of interracial competition that whites should or must win. He says racial inequality is a problem that emerges in part from the … [more]
nct  ncpin  JordanPeterson  DasGeileNeueInternet  IlliberalLeft 
4 days ago by walt74
Debatte oder Protest: Wie weiter gegen rechts? | Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik
Link: https://www.blaetter.de/archiv/jahrgaenge/2018/juni/debatte-oder-protest-wie-weiter-gegen-rechts

das intellektuelle Zentrum der Neuen Rechten, das Milieu des von Kubitschek geleiteten Antaios-Verlages, hat gar kein Interesse an einer Annäherung durch inhaltliche Auseinandersetzung, sondern verachtet die Debatte grundsätzlich: „Die Diskussion ist die Visitenkarte, mit der der Tod reist, wenn er inkognito geht“, bemüht man dort den spanischen Gegenrevolutionär Donoso Cortés. Dieser prangerte bereits im 19. Jahrhundert den revolutionären Liberalismus als Zeichen der Auflösung jeder Ordnung an. Rechten durch den Nachweis ihrer Unlogik beizukommen, läuft daher ins Leere, da sie nicht an einer kohärenten Argumentation interessiert sind.

Jede Aufnahme einer Debatte durch diese Rechte ist somit rein instrumenteller Natur. In der Antaios-Zeitschrift „Sezession“ ist nachzulesen, wie sehr man sich historisch den Verfechtern der Diktatur verpflichtet fühlt. Statt der Debatte und des Austauschs von Argumenten pflegt man einen autoritären Kult um Tat und Entscheidung. Maßgeblich ist eben nicht Habermas, sondern Cortés. Der belächelte das Bürgertum als „clasa discutidora“, als „diskutierende Klasse“, die schleunigst zum Schweigen gebracht werden müsse. Carl Schmitt formulierte in ebendiesem Geiste während der Weimarer Krisenjahre die staatsrechtlichen Grundlagen für die Diktatur. Ziel beider war das Ende der Debatte.

Für diese Denkschule ist „das ewige Gespräch“ der Liberalen eine Vorstellung von „grausamer Komik“. Daher hat Schmitt in der „Politischen Theologie“ den Diskurs als das eigentlich zu Überwindende bestimmt. Was dagegen „die gegenrevolutionäre Staatsphilosophie auszeichnet“, schreibt Schmitt, sei „das Bewusstsein, dass die Zeit eine Entscheidung verlangt“.
nct  ncpin  Politics  Right  Nazis 
7 days ago by walt74
On Being an Arsehole: A defense
Link: https://thepointmag.com/2018/examined-life/on-being-an-arsehole

“The modes of trolling are many,” writes Rachel Barney in her wonderful mock-Aristotelian treatise, “On Trolling.” Characteristic techniques include treating small problems as if they were large ones, disputing what everyone knows to be true, criticizing what everyone knows to be admirable and masking hostility with claims of friendship. If that sounds like the kind of thing Socrates got up to, this is no accident—for like Socrates, the troll claims “that he is a gadfly and beneficial, and without him to ‘stir up’ the thread it would become dull and unintelligent.” The difference, says Barney, is that while Socrates may have annoyed people, that was never his goal; he simply wanted to convince his fellow Athenians that they lacked wisdom and needed to care for their souls. The troll, by contrast, intentionally aims to generate “confusion and strife among a community who really agree,” whether for amusement or for profit or for partisan gain. Socrates was a philosopher, in other words; the troll is just an arsehole.

Yet there is surely a sense in which Socrates was trying to generate confusion and strife among Athenians (and hence, from a certain perspective, to “corrupt the youth”). After all, disagreement is hardly incidental to philosophy: when people are forced to think seriously about an argument, they tend to realize that they disagree with each other far more than they had thought. Nor is the shattering of consensus always to be regretted from a political perspective. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” addressed to white clergymen who had asked him to reduce social conflict by limiting his battle for civil rights to the courts, Martin Luther King, Jr. invoked Socrates to support his argument that “constructive nonviolent tension … is necessary for growth.” “Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal,” he wrote, “so we must see the need of having nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men to rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.”

King’s analogy suggests that the philosopher and the activist share a common predicament, at least to some degree: both are willing to disrupt social convention and embarrass others in the name of a higher cause that typically exalts them personally, and so both run the risk of not only being perceived as, but actually being, self-aggrandizing arseholes.
nct  ncpin  Philosophy  Rhetorik  Language 
10 days ago by walt74
Mistaken Identity by Asad Haider review – the best criticism of identity politics
Link: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/31/mistaken-identity-by-asad-haider-review
Amazon-Link: https://amzn.to/2sHaqKc

Haider is also a critic of identity politics, but with a crucial difference: he knows the history of the term and is working from within the tradition that produced it. As he explains, the idea has radical roots. It originated with the Combahee River Collective, an organisation of black lesbian feminist socialists in Boston who published a landmark statement in 1977: “This focusing upon our own oppression is embodied in the concept of identity politics. We believe that the most profound and potentially most radical politics come directly out of our own identity, as opposed to working to end somebody else’s oppression.”

This is the original demand of identity politics, and it’s one that Haider embraces: for a revolutionary practice rooted in people’s identities as racialised, sexed, gendered and classed individuals who face interlocking systems of oppression. These systems have to be fought together, by organising people of different identities in what Haider calls “a project of universal emancipation” devoted to dismantling all of the structures that make them unfree, including and especially capitalism itself.

But if anticapitalist revolution is where identity politics began, it has since become something quite different, and is now invoked by certain liberals and leftists to serve distinctly non-revolutionary ends, Haider argues. It involves members of marginalised groups demanding inclusion, recognition, or restitution from above – a seat at the table. These demands are made in response to very real injuries endured by those groups. But their method, he says, ends up strengthening the structures that produced those injuries in the first place.

Drawing on Wendy Brown’s idea of “wounded attachments”, Haider contends that identity politics causes people to become invested in their marginalisation as a source of identity, and to continuously enact that identity as a form of politics. This approach can extract occasional concessions from the system but cannot build the power necessary to transform it.

Building that power will require forging a “new insurgent universality”, Haider believes. This doesn’t mean pretending that everyone is the same. It doesn’t mean elevating one identity – that of the white male worker, say – above all others. Rather, the universality that Haider wants is built from below. It is “created and recreated in the act of insurgency”, as people come together to combat the common enemy lurking behind their particular oppressions. Freedom for ourselves – whoever “we” are – is inseparable from freedom for everyone. If emancipation is always self-emancipation, self-emancipation is always a collective endeavour.
nct  ncpin  DasGeileNeueInternet  IdentityPolitics  Books  Identity 
14 days ago by walt74
Our fiction addiction: Why humans need stories
Link: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20180503-our-fiction-addiction-why-humans-need-stories

psychologists and literary theorists have now identified many potential benefits to this fiction addiction. One common idea is that storytelling is a form of cognitive play that hones our minds, allowing us to simulate the world around us and imagine different strategies, particularly in social situations. “It teaches us about other people and it’s a practice in empathy and theory of mind,” says Joseph Carroll at the University of Missouri-St Louis.

The Agta, a Filipino hunter-gatherer population, have long shared stories containing messages of equality between men and women (Credit: Paulo Sayeg)
Providing some evidence for this theory, brain scans have shown that reading or hearing stories activates various areas of the cortex that are known to be involved in social and emotional processing, and the more people read fiction, the easier they find it to empathise with other people.

Crucially, evolutionary psychologists believe that our prehistoric preoccupations still shape the form of the stories we enjoy. As humans evolved to live in bigger societies, for instance, we needed to learn how to cooperate, without being a ‘free rider’ who takes too much and gives nothing, or overbearing individuals abusing their dominance to the detriment of the group’s welfare. Our capacity for storytelling – and the tales we tell – may have therefore also evolved as a way of communicating the right social norms. “The lesson is to resist tyranny and don’t become a tyrant yourself,” Kruger said.

Along these lines, various studies have identified cooperation as a core theme in popular narratives across the world. The anthropologist Daniel Smith of University College London recently visited 18 groups of hunter-gatherers of the Philippines. He found nearly 80% of their tales concerned moral decision making and social dilemmas (as opposed to stories about, say, nature). Crucially, this then appeared to translate to their real-life behaviour; the groups that appeared to invest the most in storytelling also proved to be the most cooperative during various experimental tasks – exactly as the evolutionary theory would suggest. […]

In his book On the Origin of Stories, Brian Boyd of the University of Auckland describes how these themes are also evident in Homer’s Odyssey. As Penelope waits for Odysseus’s return, her suitors spend all day eating and drinking at her home. When he finally arrives in the guise of a poor beggar, however, they begrudge offering him any shelter (in his own home!). They ultimately get their comeuppance as Odysseus removes his disguise and wreaks a bloody revenge.

You might assume that our interest in cooperation would have dwindled with the increasing individualism of the Industrial Revolution, but Kruger and Carroll have found that these themes were still prevalent in some of the most beloved British novels from the 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Asking a panel of readers to rate the principal characters in more than 200 novels (beginning with Jane Austen and ending with EM Forster), the researchers found that the antagonists’ major flaw was most often a quest for social dominance at the expense of others or an abuse of their existing power, while the protagonists appeared to be less individualistic and ambitious.
Storytelling  nct  ncpin  Psychology  EvoPsych  Anthropology  Science  JordanPeterson 
16 days ago by walt74
Jordan Peterson Lights Up The Right With Rational Explanations Of Why Tradition Matters
Link: https://thefederalist.com/2018/06/04/jordan-peterson-lights-right-rational-explanations-tradition-matters/

What makes Peterson’s message importantly different and provocative is not the content of his advice and rules, but rather the manner and strength of his rationale. Peterson is, at least at his best, a rational traditionalist: he stakes a claim for Western tradition based not, as Michael Oakeshott says of the conservative temperament, on a preference for the familiar simply because it is familiar, but rather on reason, scientific evidence, and his experience as a clinical psychologist.

Traditionalists feel a personal belonging to and affinity for their collective heritage. Through passed down institutions, art, codes of conduct, celebrations, and stories, the traditionalist is uniquely connected to a way of life that is greater than any one individual. He does not care for his tradition because it accords with any particular abstract ethic, such as because it produces happiness, pleasure, or freedom. Rather, he cares to preserve his tradition because it is his heritage. A traditionalist about marriage, for example, may well believe it is good to give equal rights to gay people, and yet want to preserve marriage as an institution between a man and a woman.

Rationalists do not have this sense of personal belonging, They follow abstract ethical ideals, such as pleasure, happiness, and freedom, that are not tied to any particular tradition. Rather than deciding what to do with tradition based upon preservig a way of life, the rationalist asks whether it will work toward the ethical ideal.

Without tradition we move in the abstract space of ideals; without rationalism we remain bound by tradition. Even if they are dogmatic, the loss of our traditions is the loss of our way of life, our living history, our great supra-individual body. But the loss of our rationalism would mean the inability to change our traditions so they can better serve the individual. We want to revivify our heritage while maintaining a way to discriminate between aspects of our tradition; to say, in an abstract sense, what is good and what is bad.

Peterson helps resolve this conflict by basing a defense of Western tradition upon rationalism.
nct  ncpin  JordanPeterson  Conservatism  Tradition  Politics  Philosophy 
17 days ago by walt74
Why Trump Is Winning and the Press Is Losing
Link: http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/04/25/why-trump-is-winning-and-the-press-is-losing/

There is a risk that journalists could do their job brilliantly, and it won’t really matter, because Trump supporters categorically reject it, Trump opponents already believed it, and the neither-nors aren’t paying close enough attention. In a different way, there is a risk that journalists could succeed at the production of great journalism and fail at its distribution, because the platforms created by the tech industry have so overtaken the task of organizing public attention.

There is an obvious risk that the press will lose touch with the country, fall out of contact with American culture. Newsroom diversity is supposed to prevent that, but the diversity project has itself been undermined by a longer and deeper project in mainstream journalism, which I have called the View from Nowhere, by which I mean the attempt to acquire authority by constructing an artificial impartiality, by “performing objectivity.”

At the same time, the press is at risk of losing its institutional footing. For instance, in the hands of Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House briefing has gone to ruin. It was always frustrating—now it’s useless, even counterproductive.

Many floors below the surface of journalism there are bedrock attitudes that make the practice possible—and thinkable. For example: the belief in informed consent, or that information sources independent of the state are needed to monitor the state. There is a risk of erosion there. When the president of the United States forcefully rejects the premise of a common world of fact, and behaves like there is no such thing, any practice resting on that premise is in political trouble. This has happened to journalism. No one knows what to do about it.

There is a risk that established forms of journalism will be unable to handle the strain that Trump’s behavior places upon them. For example, the practice we came to call fact-checking has had zero effect in preventing the president from repeating falsehoods. There is a risk that the press will hang onto these forms well past their sell-by date because it’s what they know. They want things to be normal. […]

I will conclude with something Steve Bannon put to the author Michael Lewis earlier this year. “The Democrats don’t matter,” Bannon said. “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.” To this kind of provocation, Marty Baron, editor of The Washington Post, has a succinct reply: “We’re not at war, we’re at work.” I think our top journalists are correct that if they become the political opposition to Trump, they will lose. And yet, they have to go to war against a political style in which power gets to write its own story.

There is a risk that they will fail to make this distinction. In my role as a critic, I have been trying to alert them to that danger. I cannot say it’s working.
Journalism  Media  DasGeileNeueInternet  ncpin  nct  DonaldTrump 
22 days ago by walt74
Trillions Upon Trillions of Viruses Fall From the Sky Each Day
Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/13/science/virosphere-evolution.html

Scientists have surmised there is a stream of viruses circling the planet, above the planet’s weather systems but below the level of airline travel. Very little is known about this realm, and that’s why the number of deposited viruses stunned the team in Spain. Each day, they calculated, some 800 million viruses cascade onto every square meter of the planet.

Most of the globe-trotting viruses are swept into the air by sea spray, and lesser numbers arrive in dust storms.

“Unimpeded by friction with the surface of the Earth, you can travel great distances, and so intercontinental travel is quite easy” for viruses, said Curtis Suttle, a marine virologist at the University of British Columbia. “It wouldn’t be unusual to find things swept up in Africa being deposited in North America.”

The study by Dr. Suttle and his colleagues, published earlier this year in the International Society of Microbial Ecology Journal, was the first to count the number of viruses falling onto the planet. The research, though, is not designed to study influenza or other illnesses, but to get a better sense of the “virosphere,” the world of viruses on the planet.

Generally it’s assumed these viruses originate on the planet and are swept upward, but some researchers theorize that viruses actually may originate in the atmosphere. (There is a small group of researchers who believe viruses may even have come here from outer space, an idea known as panspermia.)
Biology  Science  ncpin  nct  Viruses 
24 days ago by walt74
Geflüchtete, Islam, AfD: So toxisch ist die Debatte im Netz
Unsere Analyse macht deutlich: Von einem diffusen „Hass im Netz“ lässt sich nicht sprechen. Was wir gefunden haben, sind Wortmeldungen aus ganz konkreten rechten Diskursen, die überall dort auftauchen, wo Politikerinnen und Politiker über Migration, Muslime und die AfD sprechen. Die technischen Ansätze der Internet-Plattformen und neue rechtliche Vorgaben der Bundesregierung wie das NetzDG greifen daher zu kurz. Rechte Hetze im Netz lässt sich nicht technisch und rechtlich lösen, sondern nur mit Gegenrede. Wir müssen auf die Hetzer antworten.

Link: https://netzpolitik.org/2018/gefluechtete-islam-afd-so-toxisch-ist-die-debatte-im-netz
nct  ncpin  DasGeileNeueInternet  Right  Hatespeech  Outrage  OutrageMemetics  AFD  SocialMedia  Nazis  Immigration 
25 days ago by walt74
I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous
Respectful but still powerful takedown of some of Petersons most unnerving shticks (harsh tendencies, aggressiveness, superficial readings of postmodernism and, new to me, ambitions in political leadership). And its not coming from anyone, but a former colleague and friend.

I recommend this to everyone following the guy. Actually, I *especially* recommend this to those who pay close attention to Peterson.

Link: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/2018/05/25/i-was-jordan-petersons-strongest-supporter-now-i-think-hes-dangerous.html
Jordan’s first high-profile public battle, and for many people their introduction to the man, followed his declaration that he would not comply with Bill C-16, an amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act extending its protections to include gender identity and expression. He would refuse to refer to students using gender neutral pronouns. He then upped the stakes by claiming that, for this transgression, he could be sent to jail.

I have a trans daughter, but that was hardly an issue compared to what I felt was a betrayal of my trust and confidence in him. It was an abuse of the trust that comes with his professorial position, which I had fought for, to have misrepresented gender science by dismissing the evidence that the relationship of gender to biology is not absolute and to have made the claim that he could be jailed when, at worst, he could be fined.

In his defence, Jordan told me if he refused to pay the fine he could go to jail. That is not the same as being jailed for what you say, but it did ennoble him as a would-be martyr in the defence of free speech. He was a true free speech “warrior” who was willing to sacrifice and run roughshod over his students to make a point. He could have spared his students and chosen to sidestep the issue and refer to them by their names. And if this was truly a matter of free speech he could have challenged the Human Rights Act, off-campus and much earlier, by openly using language offensive to any of the already-protected groups on that list.

Perhaps this was not just about free speech.

Not long afterwards the following message was sent from his wife’s email address exhorting recipients to sign a petition opposing Ontario’s Bill 28. That bill proposed changing the language in legislation about families from “mother” and “father” to the gender-neutral “parents.”

“A new bill, introduced in Ontario on September 29th, subjugates the natural family to the transgender agenda. The bill — misleadingly called the ‘All Families Are Equal Act’ — is moving extremely fast. We must ACT NOW to stop this bill from passing into law.”

This is not a free-speech issue so Jordan is wearing a different political hat. And what does a “transgender agenda” have to do with a bill protecting same-sex parents? What is this all about?

Jordan has studied and understands authoritarian demagogic leaders. They know how to attract a following. In an interview with Ethan Klein in an H3 Podcast, Jordan describes how such leaders learn to repeat those things which make the crowd roar, and not repeat those things that do not. The crowd roared the first time Jordan opposed the so-called “transgender agenda.” Perhaps they would roar again, whether it made sense or not.

But why “transgender” in the first place? In that same interview, Jordan cites Carl Jung, who talked about the effectiveness of powerful emotional oratorical skills to tap into the collective unconscious of a people, and into their anger, resentment, fear of chaos and need for order. He talked about how those demagogic leaders led by acting out the dark desires of the mob.

If we have a “collective unconscious” there is a good chance that it would include our primitive assumptions about gender and biology. Transgender people violate those assumptions. There is an historical example of how upset our species gets about gender ambiguity in other species. The female spotted hyena is larger than, and dominant over, the male and has a clitoris so enlarged as to have the external appearance of a penis. In the bestiaries of the Middle Ages they were reviled, described as “neither faithful or pagan,” “brutal thugs,” “sexual deviants” and “not to be trusted.” Sir Walter Raleigh excluded the hyena from Noah’s Ark in his History of the World (written in 1614) because he believed that God had saved only the purely bred. That historical lesson tells us how deeply disturbed many of us might be in response to gender ambiguity in human beings.

Transgender people appear early in human history but in these socially progressive times, which worry Jordan so much, they have become more visible. Consciously or not, Jordan may have understood that transgender people tap into society’s “collective unconscious” and would become a lightning rod for attention loaded with anger and resentment. And it did.

More recently, when questioned about the merits of 12 Rules for Life, Jordan answered that he must be doing something right because of the huge response the book has received. How odd given what he said in that same interview about demagogues and cheering crowds. In an article published in January in the Spectator, Douglas Murray described the atmosphere at one of Jordan’s talks as “ecstatic.”

I have no way of knowing whether Jordan is aware that he is playing out of the same authoritarian demagogue handbook that he himself has described. If he is unaware, then his ironic failure, unwillingness, or inability to see in himself what he attributes to them is very disconcerting. […]

Jordan exhibits a great range of emotional states, from anger and abusive speech to evangelical fierceness, ministerial solemnity and avuncular charm. It is misleading to come to quick conclusions about who he is, and potentially dangerous if you have seen only the good and thoughtful Jordan, and not seen the bad.

Shortly after Jordan’s rise to notoriety back in 2016, I emailed him to express my upset with his dishonesty and lack of intellectual and social integrity. He called in a conciliatory voice the next morning. I was reiterating my disappointment and upset when he interrupted me, saying more or less the following:

“You don’t understand. I am willing to lose everything, my home, my job etc., because I believe in this.” And then he said, with the intensity he is now famous for, “Bernie. Tammy had a dream, and sometimes her dreams are prophetic. She dreamed that it was five minutes to midnight.”

That was our last conversation. He was playing out the ideas that appeared in his first book. The social order is coming apart. We are on the edge of chaos. He is the prophet, and he would be the martyr. Jordan would be our saviour. I think he believes that.

He may be driven by a great and genuine fear of our impending doom, and a passionate conviction that he can save us from it. He may believe that his ends justify his questionable means, and he may not be aware that he mimics those figures from whom he wants to protect us. But his conviction makes him no less problematic. On the contrary.

“What they do have in common is … that they have the answers and that their instincts are good, that they are smarter than everybody else and can do things by themselves.” This was Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state in an recent interview with the New York Times referring to the authoritarian leaders discussed in her new book, Fascism: A Warning. It sounds familiar. […]

Jordan is a powerful orator. He is smart, compelling and convincing. His messages can be strong and clear, oversimplified as they often are, to be very accessible. He has played havoc with the truth. He has studied demagogues and authoritarians and understands the power of their methods. Fear and danger were their fertile soil. He frightens by invoking murderous bogeymen on the left and warning they are out to destroy the social order, which will bring chaos and destruction.

Jordan’s view of the social order is now well known.

He is a biological and Darwinian determinist. Gender, gender roles, dominance hierarchies, parenthood, all firmly entrenched in our biological heritage and not to be toyed with. Years ago when he was living in my house, he said children are little monkeys trying to clamber up the dominance hierarchy and need to be kept in their place. I thought he was being ironic. Apparently, not.

He is also very much like the classic Social Darwinists who believe that “attempts to reform society through state intervention or other means would … interfere with natural processes; unrestricted competition and defence of the status quo were in accord with biological selection.” (Encylopedia Britannica, 2018.) From the same source: “Social Darwinism declined during the 20th century as an expanded knowledge of biological, social and cultural phenomena undermined, rather than supported, its basic tenets.” Jordan remains stuck in and enthralled by The Call of the Wild.

We should be concerned about his interest in politics. It is clear what kind of country he would want to have or, if he could, lead.
nct  ncpin  DasGeileNeueInternet  JordanPeterson  CampusPolitics  Feminism 
28 days ago by walt74
Jordan Peterson’s Tired Old Myths
This article too repeats the horrible lie spread thru the NYT that Peterson actually believes in witches (he doesn't, he's saying they are meta-true, which is something else entirely), but has a very valid critique in the second half of this article. Recommended.

Link: https://newrepublic.com/article/148473/jordan-petersons-tired-old-myths
Peterson extolls classic Disney movies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as upholding primordial gender roles, but objects to Frozen for violating those norms. “It might be objected (as it was, with Disney’s more recent and deeply propagandistic Frozen) that a woman does not need a man to rescue her,” Peterson writes in 12 Rules of Life. “That may be true, and it may not. It may be that only the woman who wants (or has) a child needs a man to rescue her—or at least to support and aid her. In any case, it is certain that a woman needs consciousness to be rescued, and, as noted above, consciousness is symbolically masculine and has been since the beginning of time (in the guise of both order and of the Logos, the mediating principle).”

The argument here is that Frozen is propaganda because it violates mythical tropes that have existed since “the beginning of time.” But are myths really so unwavering and static?

As it happens, there was another Canadian scholar who taught, as Peterson does, at the University of Toronto, who made it his life work to argue against this assumption. Like Peterson, Northrop Frye, who flourished as a scholar from the 1940s until his death in 1991, wrote cultural analysis that was shaped by the works of Jung, Eliade and Campbell. (Someday we’ll have a cultural history explaining why Jung is so popular in Canada. The Swiss psychologist’s fingerprints can also be seen in the works of novelists like Robertson Davies and Margaret Atwood as well as the cartoonist Dave Sim.) But Frye was critical of the “latent conservatism” of these mythologists.

As Glenn Robert Gill showed in Northrop Frye and the Phenomenology of Myth, Frye’s major innovation as a literary scholar was to take mythology away from the etherial realm of Jung’s “collective unconscious” (a speculative netherworld that defies empirical verification) and return it to history. In his studies of the Bible and literature, Frye showed that mythical archetypes were powerful and recurring, yes, but also subject to revision.

The great example here was William Blake, who took the myths of the Bible and inverted them in spectacular fashion, imagining the God as a tyrant and the Devil as a rebel. “The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil’s party without knowing it,” Blake wrote in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (circa 1790).

Blake re-wrote the Bible, just as Frozen re-wrote the Disney princess by making the traditional witch figure (the magic-powered Elsa) into a heroine. That’s the way culture works. Myths are not just handed down in unchanging fashion; they are repurposed, tweaked, and sometimes inverted. Contra Peterson, witches aren’t real. More importantly, the cultural meaning of witches changes over time (as with the feminist effort to reclaim witches as heroines).

Peterson sees himself as a mythical hero, a Prometheus bringing light to humanity. But a character from Victorian literature is more apropos: In George Eliot’s Middlemarch, the vivacious Dorothea Brooke marries Edward Casaubon, a venerable scholar penning a tome promising “the Key to All Mythologies.” Brooke discovers, too late, that far from being a genius, Mr. Casaubon is a musty fraud.
nct  ncpin  JordanPeterson  DasGeileNeueInternet  Feminism  Mythology  Storytelling  Religion  Psychology 
4 weeks ago by walt74
Jordan Peterson and the Failure of the Left
The Downward Spiral

First, it’s unconvincing to everyone who’s not some sort of true believer or faithful follower (or, more cynically, a journalist looking to please an editor demanding yet another Peterson hit piece). No doubt, I’m not the only person who’s wondered what all the fuss is about, decided to take the time to listen to one of Peterson’s YouTube lectures, and come away feeling that the Left’s commentariat is trying to sell me a fake bill of goods. The gap between Peterson’s obvious intelligence and the Left’s scathing denunciation of him as an alt-right idiot is simply too large for many of us to ignore.

Second, the Left’s attack on Peterson is so unrelenting, so superficial, and quite frequently so vicious, that many of us who work and/or live in left-leaning social environments feel scared to speak up against it. We don’t want to alienate our friends, damage our professional reputations, or attract the attention of fire-breathing activists.

The problem here is not simply that this is unpleasant for people like me. More importantly, our silence further impoverishes everyday political discourse by eliminating more nuanced left-of-center voices. This, in turn, reinforces the already powerful trend toward weaponized hashtag ideology instead of serious political thought. It also drives more people to right-of-center alternatives or away from politics altogether.

Link: http://quillette.com/2018/05/22/jordan-peterson-failure-left/
ncpin  nct  JordanPeterson  DasGeileNeueInternet  IlliberalLeft  Journalism  BadJournalism 
4 weeks ago by walt74
This Must Be David Byrne
there's no irony to what Byrne is doing up there, not even the winking deep-cover irony you used to hear on old Heads songs like “Don't Worry About the Government.”

Link: https://www.gq.com/story/david-byrne-talking-heads-icon-profile

Reflect on how David Byrne has chosen this of all moments to rebrand as Professor Positive and the perfectly counter-intuitive David Byrne–ian sense this makes. Byrne hears about the president of the United States slandering “shithole countries” and responds with a Spotify playlist called The Beautiful Shitholes, countering ignorance with doom blues from Mali, club bangers from Haiti, mutant Afro-Cuban jazz from Havana. Byrne surveys a political landscape rended by partisanship and decides to spread the good word about party-dogma-bucking politicians like the Republican Texas mayor Dale Ross—“He did the math, looked at what was cheaper for his town, and went with wind power instead of fossil fuels.”

Ask Byrne how the “Reasons to Be Cheerful” project fed into American Utopia. He says he didn't know it would, not at first. Around the time he realized these news items he'd been bookmarking might constitute the beginning of an idea, he visited Brian Eno at his studio in London. Byrne says the reason Eno's become his longest-term creative collaborator is that they don't see each other often, and when they do, they usually don't talk about music. But this time Eno played Byrne some stuff he'd been fooling around with. Drum tracks—electronic beats, but run through some humanizing algorithm. Byrne asked Eno if he had any plans for these beats; Eno didn't.

“I said, ‘Send me some and I'll see what I can do,’ ” Byrne says.

This is how they prefer to work. No record deal, no contracts. E-mailing stuff back and forth, seeing if it's something.

“No commitment,” Byrne says. “If it ends up being something neither of us like, then we just kill it and nobody is the wiser.” […]

“The way Trump says ‘Let's make America great again,’ imagining some more perfect ideal version of America in the past—I think many of us imagine there's an ideal version of what a country could be, or what life could be, that exists maybe not in a concrete future but in a conceptual future of some sort,” Byrne says.

“We're striving toward something, we aspire to something, and it will probably never happen, but it gives us a trajectory. It may not be specific. It may not be about a cashless society or everyone having sex with everybody. It may not be about Bitcoin. But it might be about a larger sense of longing that a lot of people share. I think that's where it's coming from.”
nct  ncpin  TalkingHeads  Music 
4 weeks ago by walt74
Inequality and the Intellectual Dark Web | National Review
On the Left, critics (unsurprisingly) have argued that Dark Web intellectuals are motivated by racism, misogyny, or both. This argument is rather unserious; it ignores that the IDW is fairly diverse and commands the sympathy of people like Maajid Nawaz, Debra Soh, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. (And, incidentally, most of the remaining white Dark Web intellectuals are Jewish.) More surprising is that many on the right have yet to identify the trend. Jonah Goldberg writes that the only thing bringing together Dark Web thinkers is a “disdain for liberal orthodoxy.” That’s true, but it’s not the whole truth. The primary driver, in my view, is more specific than that.

To be precise, IDW thinkers hold “conservative” views on inequality only insofar as the belief that inequalities are not necessarily injustices — or the result of them — can be cast as “right wing.” To some extent, of course, it can be. Broadly put, the Right views inequalities as the inevitable (and at times desirable) consequences of the free decisions made by individuals pursuing happiness in liberal societies. The Left, by contrast, tends to consider the words “inequality” and “injustice” to be nearly synonymous, such that where there is inequality, there is injustice. This is why the Left sees income and wealth inequalities and blames them on a crooked capitalist system, or sees unequal outcomes between the sexes and blames them on the protocols of a misogynistic culture.

Dark Web intellectuals clearly sympathize with the conservative interpretation. These sympathies manifest themselves mainly in two areas: the rejection of dishonesty vis-à-vis issues of race, and the rejection of academia’s gender madness.

Link: https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/intellectual-dark-web-members-united-views-inequality/

Meine eigene Interpretation von „Egalité“ aka Equality aka Gleichheit war übrigens nie eine der prinzipiellen Ungerechtigkeit, sondern als „Gleichheit vor dem Staat, vor dem Gesetz und im Zusammenleben“. Was man daraus dann macht, fällt bei meiner Interpretation grundsätzlich unter die Freiheitsrechte. Equality of Opportunity eben, die Gleichheit der Möglichkeiten. Dieser Artikel scheint mir lediglich eine linke Sichtweise der „Equality of Outcome“ zu kommunizieren, was ebenfalls leider fauler Journalismus ist, nur diesmal von einem konservativem Outlet.
DasGeileNeueInternet  IntellectualDarkWeb  nct  ncpin  IlliberalLeft  Left  Feminism 
4 weeks ago by walt74
Viral Video From Gaza Protests Not *Actually* From Gaza Protests
On May 16, a video started trending on Twitter, which suggested that at least one of the killed Palestinians staged his own death and was, in fact, alive. The video panned across several rows of seemingly dead bodies covered with white shrouds, then one person covered with a shroud starts scratching their nose. The accompanying post by @_p4z_ read: „When you’re a dead Palestinian martyr but your nose keeps itching.“

This video, however, was not filmed in Gaza, nor the West Bank.

The video first appeared on El Badil, a left-leaning Egyptian news outlet. The video showed Egyptian students protesting by pretending to be dead.

This was not the first time this footage was used out of context to spread disinformation. Back in 2014, Egyptian TV channel El Balad TV used the footage in March 2014 as evidence that the bloodiest attack on protesters in modern history, the Rabaa massacre of 2013, was staged.

Narrative Spread
The video on Twitter was watched more than 964,000 times at the time of this report. The original user @_p4z_’s tweet was retweeted nearly 30,000 times and liked more than 43,000 times.

Link: https://medium.com/dfrlab/viral-video-from-gaza-protests-not-actually-from-gaza-protests-6186791586cc
ncpin  nct  DasGeileNeueInternet  FakeNews  PostTruth 
4 weeks ago by walt74
Kybernetik und ganze Menschen
Den Anderen als trivial zu erleben ist Selbsttrivialisierung der Beobachtung.

Link: http://www.reis.space/jekyll/update/2018/05/18/maschinchen.html
ncpin  Kybernetik  nct  Philosophy 
4 weeks ago by walt74
Jordan Peterson, Custodian of the Patriarchy
I wouldn't go so far and call this a hitpiece, but its most definitely an op-ed and should be declared as such. Sloppy Journalism on Peterson, once again. And this first paragraph rings very familiar to me.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/style/jordan-peterson-12-rules-for-life.html
Why did he decide to engage in politics at all? He says a couple years ago he had three clients in his private practice “pushed out of a state of mental health by left-wing bullies in their workplace.” I ask for an example, and he sighs.

He says one patient had to be part of a long email chain over whether the term “flip chart” could be used in the workplace, since the word “flip” is a pejorative for Filipino.

“She had a radical-left boss who was really concerned with equality and equality of outcome and all these things and diversity and inclusivity and all these buzzwords and she was subjected to — she sent me the email chain, 30 emails about whether or not the word flip chart was acceptable,” Mr. Peterson says.
JordanPeterson  DasGeileNeueInternet  IlliberalLeft  nct  ncpin 
4 weeks ago by walt74
Urgent Climate Action Required to Protect Tens of Thousands of Species Worldwide, New Research Shows
<a href="https://insideclimatenews.org/news/17052018/climate-change-animal-extinction-global-warming-habitat-loss-plants-biodiversity-paris-agreement-">Neue Studie zu Biodiversity und Klimawandel</a>. Nur eine konsequente Umsetzung des Pariser Abkommens könnte eine Katastrophe abwenden, selbst 2° Erwärmung bedeuten bereits den Verlust von „18% of insects, 16% of plants, and 8% of vertebrates“. Die derzeitige Prognose geht von einer Erwärmung von circa 3° aus. In anderen Worten: We're still fucked.

Link: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/17052018/climate-change-animal-extinction-global-warming-habitat-loss-plants-biodiversity-paris-agreement-
Paper: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6390/791
One key to salvaging plant and vertebrate habitat and protecting the world's biodiversity is to limit warming to the most challenging benchmark established under the 2015 Paris treaty—1.5 degrees Celsius of warming—not to the treaty's less stringent 2 degree guardrail, the study found.

The study assessed, in more detail than ever before, a key measure of extinction risk: the shrinking size of each species' current geographical range, or natural habitat. It projected that for an alarming number of species, their range size would shrink by at least half as temperatures rise past the Paris goals.

If nations do no more than they have pledged so far to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions—and warming consequently shoots past 3 degrees by the end of this century—6 percent of all vertebrates would be at risk. So would 44 percent of plants and a whopping 49 percent of insects.

But the dangers would be greatly reduced if warming can be limited to 1.5 degrees. That might protect the overwhelming majority of the 115,000 species assessed by the researchers. Just 4 percent of vertebrates would lose more than half of their current range. Only 8 percent of plants and 6 percent of insects would face that risk.

Keeping warming to 2 degrees is not nearly as effective, they found. The additional half degree of warming would double the impact on plants and vertebrate species, and triple the impact on insects.

In the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the United Nations is pursuing efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C, whereas earlier aspirations focused on a 2°C limit. With current pledges, corresponding to ~3.2°C warming, climatically determined geographic range losses of >50% are projected in ~49% of insects, 44% of plants, and 26% of vertebrates. At 2°C, this falls to 18% of insects, 16% of plants, and 8% of vertebrates and at 1.5°C, to 6% of insects, 8% of plants, and 4% of vertebrates. When warming is limited to 1.5°C as compared with 2°C, numbers of species projected to lose >50% of their range are reduced by ~66% in insects and by ~50% in plants and vertebrates.
Climate  Environment  nct  ncpin  Biology  Science 
5 weeks ago by walt74
Bitcoin estimated to use half a percent of the world's electric energy by end of 2018
„[Alex de Vries] estimates, based in economics, put the minimum current usage of the Bitcoin network at 2.55 gigawatts, which means it uses almost as much electricity as Ireland. A single transaction uses as much electricity as an average household in the Netherlands uses in a month. By the end of this year, he predicts the network could be using as much as 7.7 gigawatts--as much as Austria and half of a percent of the world's total consumption. 'To me, half a percent is already quite shocking. It's an extreme difference compared to the regular financial system, and this increasing electricity demand is definitely not going to help us reach our climate goals,' he says.“

Link: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/cp-bet051018.php
Paper: https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(18)30177-6
nct  ncpin  Bitcoins  Economy  Climate  Environment 
5 weeks ago by walt74
A Chemist Shines Light on a Surprising Prime Number Pattern
About a year ago, the theoretical chemist Salvatore Torquato met with the number theorist Matthew de Courcy-Ireland to explain that he had done something highly unorthodox with prime numbers, those positive integers that are divisible only by 1 and themselves.

A professor of chemistry at Princeton University, Torquato normally studies patterns in the structure of physical systems, such as the arrangement of particles in crystals, colloids and even, in one of his better-known results, a pack of M&Ms. In his field, a standard way to deduce structure is to diffract X-rays off things. When hit with X-rays, disorderly molecules in liquids or glass scatter them every which way, creating no discernible pattern. But the symmetrically arranged atoms in a crystal reflect light waves in sync, producing periodic bright spots where reflected waves constructively interfere. The spacing of these bright spots, known as “Bragg peaks” after the father-and-son crystallographers who pioneered diffraction in the 1910s, reveals the organization of the scattering objects.

Link: https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-chemist-shines-light-on-a-surprising-prime-number-pattern-20180514/
Mathematics  Science  nct  ncpin  Chemistry  Patterns 
5 weeks ago by walt74
Basic Income, Not Basic Jobs: Against Hijacking Utopia
These basic guarantees always get brought up in the context of technological unemployment. I’ve looked into this before, and although I don’t think jobs are being destroyed per se, I think it’s definitely possible they’re getting worse for complicated reasons. So as more and more people start getting worse and worse jobs, we can choose one of two paths.

First, we can force more and more people into make-work low-paying government jobs. Extrapolate to the very far future, and 99% of the population will spend their time sending their kids off to daycare before a long day of digging ditches that a machine could have dug better, while 1% of people have amazing robot empires.

Second, we can try to break the link between toiling for someone else and being able to live. We can set some tax rate and promise that all revenue above some amount necessary to fund state functions will be redistributed as basic income. It’ll be pretty puny at first. But as GDP grows, more and more people will opt out of work. As the payments increase, we can gradually transfer various forms of welfare into insurance, and use the gains to grow the payments further. There will be plenty of well-paying jobs for whoever wants to keep working, and lives of leisure and enjoyment for the people who don’t. Robots will pick up the slack and keep the big corporations generating the value that gets siphoned off. Extrapolate to the very far future, and 99% of people live in constantly-improving comfort and freedom, while 1% of people have that plus amazing robot empires.

Both of these are kind of tame shock-level-zero visions. But they set the stage for whatever comes next. If we have genetically enhanced superchildren, or Hansonian em overlords, they’re going to inherit the same social structures that were on the scene when they got here. Whatever institutions we create to contain today’s disadvantaged will one day be used to contain us, when we’re disadvantaged in a much more fundamental way. I want those structures to be as autonomy-promoting as possible, for my own protection.

I grudgingly admit basic jobs would be an improvement over the status quo. But I’m really scared that it becomes so entrenched that we can never move on to anything better. Can anyone honestly look at the DC education system and say “Yeah, I’m glad we designed things that way”? Doesn’t matter; we’re never going to get rid of it; at this point complaining about it too much would send all the wrong tribal signals. Nothing short of a civil war is going to change it in any way beyond giving it more funding. I dread waking up in fifty years and finding the same is true of basic jobs.

This is what I mean by hijacking utopia. Basic income is a real shot at utopia. Basic jobs takes that energy and idealism, and redirects it to perpetuate some of the worst parts of the current system. It’s better than nothing. But not by much.
nct  ncpin  Work  Grundeinkommen  Politics  Economy 
5 weeks ago by walt74
After Authenticity
the authenticity-based value system, subcultural identities, aesthetics, and the specific form of commodity capitalism involved are all interrelated. [Venkatesh Rao] sees premium mediocrity as a “rational adaptive response” to being thrust into insecure economic circumstances, but we have already observed that the conditions for an authenticity aesthetic were developing long before the financial crisis triggered its eruption. On the other hand I’m reminded of Marx’s assertion that everything comes down to economics “in the last instance.” Maybe Venkat’s not wrong.

One thing is certain: the authenticity aesthetic served as a cohesive for all of these developments. It tied the spectrum of consumable items, spaces, and identities into a single unified visual experience. There could be no more perfect illustration of this entire series of events than Paste Magazine’s 2009 and 2015 satirical “Evolution of the Hipster” photo series. In the 2010-2015 session note the unironically worn authenticity goods (TOMS, Red Wings, leather dopp kit), the startup references, and the visibly inflating tech wealth of the demographic.

If your garage craft beer brand didn’t make it big, at least you could learn to code and join a startup. Unfortunately, when your new WeWork office displays the same hand-lettered signage as your neighborhood coffee shop, has the same brick walls as your fast casual farm-to-table lunch spot, and advocates the same “do what you love” message celebrity entrepreneurs have told you since grade school, it becomes impossible to think outside of authenticity politics. […]

No wonder millennials, the Authentic Generation, all seem to think they can be the next Steve Jobs. If you believe in a “true self” that can be discovered or achieved you’re not a far cry from believing in destiny. Worse still, you could start extrapolating all sorts of conclusions from an imaginary “truth” at your “center.” It does not escape my attention that exactly this kind of assumption is at work whenever someone asserts absolute speech rights based purely on the combination of unique identities they can lay claim to. The more differentiated the self, the more defensible this demand tends to be. Identitarianism is mirrored in—would not be possible without—the widespread preoccupation with authentic selves. In the future we may be able to look back at toxic wantrepreneurship, white entitlement, and identity politics both “left” and ethnonationalist as being underwritten by the same philosophical blunder.

After Authenticity

Meanwhile, years of semantic slippage had happened without me noticing. Suddenly the surging interest in fashion, the dad hats, the stupid pin companies, the lack of sellouts, it all made sense. Authenticity has expanded to the point that people don’t even believe in it anymore. And why should we? Our friends work at SSENSE, they work at Need Supply. They are starting dystopian lifestyle brands. Should we judge them for just getting by? A Generation-Z-focused trend report I read last year clumsily posed that “the concept of authenticity is increasingly deemed inauthentic.” It goes further than that. What we are witnessing is the disappearance of authenticity as a cultural need altogether.
nct  ncpin  DasGeileNeueInternet  Memetics  Fashion  Capitalism  Economy  Marketing 
5 weeks ago by walt74
Peak Bullshit?
Richard King at the Sydney Review of Books about <a href="https://sydneyreviewofbooks.com/peak-bullshit-post-truth/">Post-Truth, Bullshit and the new Knowledge Class War</a>:
Academia, the news media and the arts and entertainment sectors are increasingly dominated by people with a liberal, multicultural worldview, and jobs in these sectors also almost always require college degrees. Trump’s campaign may have represented a backlash against these cultural elites.

From this point of view Clinton’s candidacy was an avatar for what Thomas Frank has called, in Listen, Liberal, ‘the professional class’ – a class that has grown in size and power as a result of the transition to a postindustrial economy that began in earnest in the 1990s. That transition involved a ‘liberalisation’ of the economy whereby the market would be given freer rein and the state restrict itself (in theory) to the provision of education and (re)training. It also involved a reorientation of the economy away from material commodities (as traditional industries moved offshore, were automated or undercut by competitors) and towards the kind of knowledge work for which a tertiary education is necessary. Now, that knowledge work is central, not only to the economy, but also to politics, where the ethos of merit and expertise that accompanied the transition to the knowledge society is represented at the policy level in so-called ‘double delegation’ – i.e. the referring of decisions up to bodies such as the IMF or the European Union, or out to non-political bodies – and at the personal or stylistic level in Clintonesque self-congratulation. Clinton’s decision to take her stand on the high ground of her own experience, and her shapeless pudding of a manifesto, which was full of micro-ameliorative measures unconnected by anything other than the fact that it was Clinton putting them forward, were projections of this professional ethos, as indeed was Remain’s decision to ignore issues of sovereignty and national identity and base its case on steady-as-she-goes economic wonkery. Heavy on experts and light on ideas, these campaigns were uninspired and uninspiring, and shot-through with technocratic arrogance.

This is a crude sketch, and a partial one, but I’m convinced that it’s within this broader class shift that the politics of post-truth has taken hold, and that a serious and cogent analysis of that shift is what’s missing from the mainstream analysis of post-truth. The point has been made by Crikey’s Guy Rundle, whose reports from the 2016 US election gave a far more granular picture of Trump’s base than the one available in most mainstream prints. Here’s Rundle reflecting on the changing character of climate change denialism in the US and elsewhere:
Climate change denialism, which rose in power about 15 years ago, had appeared to be in retreat about five to seven years ago. Now it is returning, and in great strength. Climate change activists are dismayed by it, and also bewildered. The science has got stronger, the evidence more plentiful. Why has the public become, it seems, even more resistant to the notion that global industrial activity is warming the planet to at least a disastrous and potentially catastrophic degree?

The answer, quite simply, is that we are facing a new phase of climate change denialism, working off a different basis to the old. There is less stuff about fictional ‘pauses’ in warming created by small time samples, albedo, urban heat islands … all the tendentious arguments of the Ian Plimers, and the late Bob Carter. There is now simply, among many people, a refusal to acknowledge it, or even accept it. Why? Because climate change science – pretty much all science – is now being enrolled in the great culture/class war that is consuming Western society, the brutal fight for recognition and position between the progressive-knowledge classes, and the working and middle classes, who now feel themselves to be excluded from the processes of power, wealth and legitimacy.

With the knowledge class now installed at the centre of the culture and economy, knowledge itself has been politicised. ‘Truth’ is a casualty of the new class war.

To this extent our authors come closest to a comprehensive view of post-truth when they stress the role of signalling and narrative in contemporary politics. These emphases, which are close to Salena Zito’s useful (if reductive) distinction, in The Atlantic, between those who take Trump literally but not seriously and those who take him seriously but not literally (those who didn’t vote for him, and those who did, respectively), go to the symbolic role that post-truth plays in the current environment. Davis, for example, contends that Trump’s exaggerations about unemployment and immigration were calculated, not to convince his followers, or potential followers, of a certain set of figures, but of his opposition to the liberal establishment. Similarly, d’Ancona emphasises the ‘deep story’ Trump conveys to many working and middleclass voters. Drawing on Arlie Russell Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land, he suggests that Trump-style populism is often selling a ‘feel-as-if story’ – a story that resonates at an emotional level to which disaggregated data cannot penetrate. Of course, such stories only penetrate at all because they contain a kernel of, well, truth: the communities that voted for Trump or Leave haven’t done well out of the great economic and cultural shifts of recent decades. But it is the fact that they are so often larded with falsehood that tends to obsess the liberal commentator.

Were that commentator to pick one villain for his piece, it’s entirely possible he would pick Michael Gove, the former British Justice Secretary For Gove it was who told Sky News’ Faisal Islam, ‘I think the people of this country have had enough of experts from organisations with acronyms saying they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong’ – a comment that is usually shortened to ‘The people of this country have had enough of experts’ and taken as evidence of the Leave campaign’s mendacity. (Davis doesn’t mention this remark; but Ball, d’Ancona and Nichols do, and only give the shorter version.) But as demagogic as that comment was, it also channelled a widespread feeling that the technocratic character of modern politics and politicians runs contrary to the spirit of democracy – an attribute notably lacking, incidentally, from the European Union. In this sense, post-truth, which in Oxford’s definition is founded on a category mistake – on a confusion between ‘objective facts’ and ‘personal feelings’ – is itself a reaction to a category mistake – to a confusion between politics as a site of conflict between different views of society and politics as a managerial enterprise on which experts should have the final say. And it’s precisely this distinction, I would argue, that the knowledge class and its representatives frequently miss in these discussions.

The distinction is not incidental. An academic writing in a peer-reviewed journal can offer useful insights into how best to deliver services to remote communities, but she cannot prove through peer review that remote communities ought to be serviced; plainly, that is a moral question, one the answer to which will depend on your view of the good society. Similarly, there may be a right way and a wrong way to make sure that benefits are distributed equally and fairly; but there is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether we should have benefits in the first place, or to what a fair allocation of them is. This is not to entertain a facile relativism; it is simply to say that politics is always about values, and that the liberal obsession with expertise is bound to instil resentment in those whose lives are neither materially improved nor morally relevant in the current liberal mix. This is, if you like, the deep story of post-truth.
Bullshit  nct  ncpin  DasGeileNeueInternet  Epistemology  Politics  DonaldTrump  PostTruth  FakeNews 
5 weeks ago by walt74
Google’s Insane Campus Is What Happens When You Politicize Everything
<a href="http://thefederalist.com/2018/05/03/googles-insane-campus-is-what-happens-when-you-politicize-everything/">Gude Laune bei Google</a>:
Ingrid Newkirk, the co-founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was slated to give a presentation at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters as part of the “Talks at Google” series.

The subject of her talk, which was organized by the “Googlers for Animals” employee group, was how animals can be subject to discrimination and bias just like people are. But another employee group, the “Black Googler Network,” understandably found the premise of the talk offensive and protested it. The talk was canceled at the last minute, as Newkirk was waiting in a parking lot outside Google.

“Such is the climate inside the tech giant, where fractious groups of employees have turned the workplace into a virtual war zone of debate over all manner of social and political beliefs,” wrote the Journal. “Google has long promoted a work culture that is more like a college campus—where loud debates and doctrinaire stances are commonplace—and today its parent, Alphabet Inc., is increasingly struggling to keep things under control.”

Welcome to Google, microcosm of America in 2018. Like nearly every facet of American life these days, Google’s workplace has become politicized, which means the company must now constantly adjudicate every offense that arises from an ever-growing roll call of the aggrieved.

Google reportedly has employee groups for every conceivable cause: “Activists at Google,” which is anti-Trump; “Militia at Google,” which is pushing for the ability to carry guns in the office; “Conservatives at Google,” which claims the company discriminates against right-leaning job candidates; and “Sex Positive at Google,” which doesn’t want explicit content removed from Google Drive file-sharing software. Like other tech companies, Google has cultivated a college atmosphere in the workplace. It seems the company has succeeded, but only in the sense that its workplace has fractured into competing identity groups.
Google  DasGeileNeueInternet  IdentityPolitics  PoliticalCorrectness  ncpin  nct 
5 weeks ago by walt74
Böhmermanns Blocklisten: Ein Diskurs zum Würgen
Link: http://www.taz.de/!5504959/

Viele der größeren Konten, die auf Böhmermanns Liste stehen, stehen auch auf der Liste von „DieRechteBlase“. Sie stehen ebenfalls auf der Liste von Netzpolitik und Tagesspiegel, die AfD-UnterstützerInnen auf Twitter identifizierten und auf der Liste des Journalisten Michael Kreil, der Twitterkonten identifiziert hat, die Falschmeldungen verbreiten. Es gibt also eine große Überschneidung zwischen den Twitterblasen, die Falschmeldungen verbreiten, sich zu Hassposts verabreden und die AfD unterstützen – auch wenn das nicht für jeden einzelnen Account gilt.

Bei rechten bis rechtsextremen Medien wie Compact, Junge Freiheit oder „PI News“ gilt: Sie sind keine Vollmedien, die ausführlich und ausgewogen über Nachrichten berichten. Im Gegenteil: sie haben eine deutliche Agenda. Kernthemen sind die Gegnerschaft zum „Establishment“, Opposition zu linken Parteien, insbesondere den Grünen, Ablehnung von Einwanderung, insbesondere Ablehnung von Flüchtlingen und „Kritik“ am Islam. Und wenn es so etwas wie ein Schwarzbrot dieses rechten Journalismus gibt, dann ist dieses Kriminalität von nicht-weißen Menschen.
Nazis  Twitter  DasGeileNeueInternet  nct  ncpin  Media 
5 weeks ago by walt74
On the Marvel movies: We’re the Good Guys, Right?
Daniel Immerwahr über den Konservatismus moderner Superhelden-Filme: https://nplusonemag.com/online-only/online-only/were-the-good-guys-right/
“It’s really great to know that they’re out there, watching over us,” a civilian gushes in the first Avengers film. It’s a rare moment, because a thing that is striking about the films is how rarely ordinary people speak. They scream, cower, and flee, but rarely do they have anything useful to say. They’re there to be protected, perhaps occasionally to gape in admiration at the Avengers.

Whenever they form a government, though, it proves feckless or worse. The “World Security Council,” a thinly veiled version of the UN’s Security Council, is so unprepared for an alien invasion that throws up its hands and fires a nuclear missile at Manhattan (whereas the Avengers defeat the aliens and save New York). The most prominent elected politician in the Marvel films is Senator Stern, played with oily perfection by the late Garry Shandling. Stern tries to get Tony Stark to relinquish his suit, which seems a reasonable request. Yet Stern is quickly undermined, first by the revelation that he’s corrupt, then by the revelation that he’s a deep-state HYDRA agent hoping to kill millions and bring about a New World Order. In this, he’s in good company. Half the public officials in the Marvel films are secretly working for HYDRA. The Avengers dislike HYDRA, but not out of any sympathy for public governance. “I don’t care about the liberal agenda anymore,” declares Tony Stark. “It’s boring.”

There are societies that function in the Marvel Universe, but they aren’t liberal democracies. They’re Wakanda and Asgard, dynastic monarchies run by Black Panther’s family and Thor’s, respectively. Despite the progressive racial politics of Black Panther, it is ultimately a movie about a king who fights off another male heir to the throne. Howard University historian Daryl Scott has described Wakanda as a “conservative utopia,” a strong state protected by a charismatic aristocrat. The same could be said of Asgard. Thor initially mumbles something about refusing the throne, but at the end of the third film, he takes it.

In Ant-Man, the benevolent scientist Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas, offers what is perhaps the purest distillation of the Marvel philosophy. “You can’t destroy power,” he advises. “All you can do is make sure that it’s in the right hands.”
Marvel  Superheroes  Movies  nct  ncpin  Conservatism 
5 weeks ago by walt74
Jan Böhmermann: Erfolgreich den Diskurs abwürgen
Link: https://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2018-05/jan-boehmermann-reconquista-internet-5vor8

Die Reconquista-Internet-Liste entlarvt so auf geradezu perfid-gute Weise zwei große Gefahren, die der offenen Gesellschaft drohen. Erstens das üble Prinzip der guilt by association (hier: es reicht, den falschen Twitter-Accounts zu folgen). Und zweitens die Tatsache, dass die Meinungsfreiheit nicht nur durch den Staat, sondern auch durch gesellschaftliche Dogmenkreation eingeschränkt werden kann: Wenn der Preis für eine bestimmte Position der Ausschluss aus der "respektablen" Gruppe ist (hier: alle, die "Liebe statt Hass" wollen), dann äußert man diese Meinung besser nicht.
Twitter  Nazis  DasGeileNeueInternet  nct  ncpin  Media 
5 weeks ago by walt74
Jan Böhmermann, der Nazi-Jäger im Schutzmantel der Satire
Link: https://uebermedien.de/27800/jan-boehmermann-der-nazi-jaeger-im-schutzmantel-der-satire/

alles an den Listen ist problematisch:

- Die unklaren Kriterien, nach denen sie mit Hilfe eines Algorithmus erstellt wurden.
- Die Vermischung von zwei sehr unterschiedlichen Gruppen, die gleichermaßen irgendwie bekämpft oder für sich stummgeschaltet werden sollen: eine Organisation von extremistischen, anonymen Trollen einerseits und sehr unterschiedlichen rechten Einzelpersonen und Medien andererseits.
- Die Idee, statt auf eine Auseinandersetzung mit rechten Inhalten zu setzen, die Nicht-Auseinandersetzung zu propagieren.

Vielleicht war es für Jan Böhmermann zu verführerisch, der Hass-Verbreitungs-Maschinerie von „Reconquista Germanica“ nicht nur eine Liebes-Verbreitungs-Maschinerie entgegenzusetzen, sondern auch selbst mit den zweifelhaften Methoden der Trolle zu spielen. Dass er seinen eigenen Tweet nur fünf Minuten lang online ließ, deutet darauf hin, dass er sich selbst bewusst war, wie problematisch er ist. Er konnte seinen Inhalt nicht in der Sendung verbreiten; er wollte ihn nicht einmal auf seinem privaten Twitter-Account online lassen; aber er wollte ihn sich nicht verkneifen.

Und nun verweigert er sich auch noch der Diskussion. Auf Anfragen von uns meldete er sich nicht. Auch andere Medien bekamen keine Antworten.
Nazis  Trolls  DasGeileNeueInternet  ncpin  nct  Media 
5 weeks ago by walt74
That’s the Problem: Nothing Proves Anything
Joseph Natoli über Meme als Algorithmen, die automatisch Narrative erzeugen und durch Fakten nur schwer widerlegt werden können.

Link: https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/11/thats-the-problem-nothing-proves-anything/
Nothing will come of anything now because nothing proves anything.

I call this a new paradigm, perhaps modeled on an erroneous rendition of a postmodern mindset in which truth is not a component of reality but what we ourselves say about ourselves, our actions, and the world we inhabit. We inhabit our own narratives, a “worlding” of what we make of anything.

The erroneous part enters when we then assume that “we” is first person singular and that the “I” is somehow free and outside dominating narratives of all stripes, present and past. This misconception and illusion leads to the meme/algorithm that “nothing proves anything to me except what I choose to accept.”

This describes our “post-truth” state. It is a far cry from the view that everything or nothing are both chosen and proven within a context in which choice and proof are always already narrated. By this, I mean that we live within our culture, in the broad sense of culture as Raymond Williams defines it as a whole way life, in an inherited and accreting array of narrations of the world. Our personal narration is shaped and emerges thusly. It’s a process, as we are now fond of saying. The cultural narrative may be a monologue shared by all or a confusion of clashing tweets, vying for supremacy. Nonetheless, such comprises a narrated reality frame within which we struggle to make everything mean something.

Because our president is no more than a kind of representing avatar of the post-truth attitude, a presidency we were not prepared for but for whom we have already prepared the way, and he is a passing presence, I find it more worthwhile to focus on what will remain after he’s gone.

And that is this deep and dark revelation now inhabiting the American mass psyche: “Nothing proves anything.” […]

A special set of circumstances and conditions must exist for nothing to prove anything. We have now created and live within such in cyberspace.

Consider that the discourse that matters now goes on in social media. And its delivery system, namely, the Smartphone, has curtailed our already fractal attention span to text and twitter dimensions. The deeply rooted meme of “more is better,” derived from our acquisitive “getting and spending” prime directive, has left us with a “discourse” field of viciously quarreling combatants on any matter, mostly of no matter, that fad and fickleness of mind post.

Nothing proves anything when everything indiscriminately and mindlessly floods the field.
Memetics  DasGeileNeueInternet  ncpin  nct  Storytelling  Neur 
6 weeks ago by walt74
The Illiberal Logic of Intersectionality
Einer der interessantesten Absätze in diesem ansonsten eher unnachgiebigen Artikel über Intersektionalität ist sein letzter, in dem auch Christian Alejandro Gonzalez zugeben muss, dass sie ein praktisch unverzichtbares Tool zur Analyse moderner sozialen Mechanismen darstellt. Ich frage mich durchaus, warum er diese Erkenntnis ganz am Ende versteckt.
The critiques above have largely skirted around the question of whether the claims of intersectionality are true and, instead, focused on their deleterious social consequences and on the extent to which the consequences can be blamed on the theory. While Storey, Martin, and Friedersdorf are right to say that as a conceptual framework a type of intersectionality could have been helpful, the inherent tendencies and mechanisms of intersectional theory as it has developed must bear some blame for the illiberal behavior of campus activists and for the inability of some intersectional theorists to engage in civil debate with their opponents. And while intersectionality is by no means the only force driving the debasement of discourse (social media also comes to mind), it certainly remains a factor, and a significant one at that. The claims of intersectionality, radical and uncompromising as they are, must therefore be implicated in any analysis of the predicament of our universities, of free speech, and of national discourse in the United States.

Ansonsten: Fair enough -->
I. Intersectionality Employs Dangerous and Imprecise Language
The primary claim of intersectional theory is that there are multiple axes of oppression (or subordination) to which people can be subjected. Crenshaw and her co-thinkers (including Patricia Hill Collins and bell hooks) do not use the phrase “axes of disadvantage” or of “misfortune” nor anything to that effect; they specifically refer to a wide range of social phenomena as “oppression,” thereby implying that some groups (or structures of power) actively oppress other groups. Intersectional theorists claim that blacks, women, queer people, indigenous people, Hispanics, and the poor are categorically oppressed—that is, at the receiving end of some current (and not just past) systemic injustice; moreover, the intensity of the oppression increases as the number of intersections increase in an individual. Presumably, then, the only people who aren’t oppressed in America are straight, cis-gendered, wealthy, white males. […]

II. Intersectionality Encourages Ideological Uniformity and Fosters Groupthink
As alluded to above, the statement that most people in America suffer from oppression is nearly incompatible with nuanced analyses. If one accepts that the intersectional framework is essentially correct, and if one further accepts that blacks are oppressed, then one must necessarily grant the notion that women, gays, poor people, and so on are also oppressed. The oppression axes of intersectionality therefore make it very difficult to make nuanced claims because intersectionalists are committed to the radical-Left interpretation of anything related to race and gender. The logic of intersectionality mandates uniformity of this kind. […]

III. Intersectionality Necessitates Radicalism
Suppose intersectionality were true. Suppose, as Crenshaw et al do, that everybody in America save for cis straight rich white men were oppressed. Such a society would be tyrannical, unjust, morally abhorrent—and, for precisely those reasons, desperately in need of radical change. It would be incumbent upon activists, if not upon all morally-righteous people, to radically transform such wretched forms of social organization. If our police forces, court systems, legislatures, universities, and corporations are stained by the filthy sins of misogyny and white supremacy, then some sort of radical or even revolutionary politics would understandably follow. […]
Intersectionality  Feminism  DasGeileNeueInternet  nct  ncpin  Language  Philosophy  IlliberalLeft 
6 weeks ago by walt74
Plomlompom: Politics, Human Nature, Psychology
Good one from Christian:
If there are psychological barriers to progressive politics, then progressive politics may need progressive psychotherapy. This, too, is an old idea. It greatly influenced the western counter-cultural movements of the 1960s, the Sexual Revolution (a term coined by communist psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich, as title for a 1936 book subtitled "for the socialist restructuring of humans"), the use of LSD in the peace and hippie movements. In retrospect, a lot of this collective psychotherapy ended up well integrated into the machineries of capitalism and sexual exploitation. But a lot of it also shattered at least some norms of bourgeois society, spawned ongoing emancipatory developments, and still provokes telling anger in reactionary circles.

Hedonism was one important aspect of the 1960s explosion. And I think it's still a necessary therapeutic ingredient of radical politics. Basically, it's the study and practice of a joyful life, of joyful experience; a science of happiness. Hedonism does not necessarily mean drugs, sex, and partying; it might also mean things like meditation, strolls through nature, or just friendly interaction. Maybe that does not sound very revolutionary by itself. But a politics of pleasure and satisfaction, or the withdrawal of these, is central to much structuring of human relations. A lot of capitalism depends on creating or keeping desires unsatisfied, of keeping happiness scarce. Repression often works through the power of unbalanced negative emotions in those it employs and affects. Pleasure and satisfaction are rationed as a means of control, or tied to obedience. To teach people self-reliant strategies for happiness strengthens them to shake off control, to ward off intimidation, to overcome fears and insecurities that play into the hands of authoritarianism.
nct  ncpin  Hippies  Politics  Drugs  Left  IlliberalLeft  Psychology  DasGeileNeueInternet 
6 weeks ago by walt74
What Tens of Thousands of Years of Human Innovation Looks Like
Excavation of an East African cave is offering clues to human culture and innovation over an expansive period starting 78,000 years ago.

The artifacts suggest that tool- and bead-making technologies did not grow in large spurts, which many archaeologists theorized was the case during the later Stone Age periods. Instead, scientists have discovered incremental advances in tool creation, with old and new tools used side by side. In addition, artistic trends like beads, ochre and bone designs come and go from the archaeological record. In the Stone Age, there were no apparent “eureka!” moments, the researchers’ study suggests.

“Our evidence shows a slow and steady progression of technology and material culture, and a mix of technologies through time,” says Michael Petraglia, an archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, and coauthor of the paper. “We could find no drama in the archaeological record [that] could support any kind of cultural revolution.”

The information is presented in a paper published Wednesday, May 9, in Nature Communications. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04057-3

Link: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2018/05/09/stone-age-tools/
nct  ncpin  Science  Paleontology  Creativity  Innovation 
6 weeks ago by walt74
The economics of artificial intelligence
Link: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-analytics/our-insights/the-economics-of-artificial-intelligence

With so many perspectives on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) flooding the business press, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find one that’s truly original. So when strategy professor Ajay Agrawal shared his brilliantly simple view on AI, we stood up and took notice. Agrawal, who teaches at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and works with AI start-ups at the Creative Destruction Lab (which he founded), posits that AI serves a single, but potentially transformative, economic purpose: it significantly lowers the cost of prediction.

In his new book, Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, coauthored with professors Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, Agrawal explains how business leaders can use this premise to figure out the most valuable ways to apply AI in their organization. The commentary here, which is adapted from a recent interview with McKinsey’s Rik Kirkland, summarizes Agrawal’s thesis. Consider it a CEO guide to parsing and prioritizing AI opportunities. […]

As the cost of prediction continues to drop, we’ll use more of it for traditional prediction problems such as inventory management because we can predict faster, cheaper, and better. At the same time, we’ll start using prediction to solve problems that we haven’t historically thought of as prediction problems.

For example, we never thought of autonomous driving as a prediction problem. Traditionally, engineers programmed an autonomous vehicle to move around in a controlled environment, such as a factory or warehouse, by telling it what to do in certain situations—if a human walks in front of the vehicle (then stop) or if a shelf is empty (then move to the next shelf). But we could never put those vehicles on a city street because there are too many ifs—if it’s dark, if it’s rainy, if a child runs into the street, if an oncoming vehicle has its blinker on. No matter how many lines of code we write, we couldn’t cover all the potential ifs.

Today we can reframe autonomous driving as a prediction problem. Then an AI simply needs to predict the answer to one question: What would a good human driver do? There are a limited set of actions we can take when driving (“thens”). We can turn right or left, brake or accelerate—that’s it. So, to teach an AI to drive, we put a human in a vehicle and tell the human to drive while the AI is figuratively sitting beside the human watching. Since the AI doesn’t have eyes and ears like we do, we give it cameras, radar, and light detection and ranging (LIDAR). The AI takes the input data as it comes in through its “eyes” and looks over to the human and tries to predict, “What will the human do next?”

The AI makes a lot of mistakes at first. But it learns from its mistakes and updates its model every time it incorrectly predicts an action the human will take. Its predictions start getting better and better until it becomes so good at predicting what a human would do that we don’t need the human to do it anymore. The AI can perform the action itself.
nct  ncpin  AI  Science  Economy  Tech  AlgoCulture 
6 weeks ago by walt74
'The consciousness instinct'—New book examines the mystery of how the brain makes the mind
Link: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-05-consciousness-instinctnew-mystery-brain-mind.html

In his book, Gazzaniga uses the metaphor of the system of democracy to help explain his take on consciousness. "Consciousness is a 'thing' the way democracy is a 'thing'—it's not something you can put on the table, it's a process," he said. "It's a summation of processes that all happen in parallel and our consciousness is a product of these interacting parts."

This concept of modular organization suggests that specialized areas of the brain do different things, and consciousness itself is the amalgamation of thousands of those processes happening at the same time. Specialized capacities come up one at a time, he explained, and through time they are stitched together to give the illusion of a unified consciousness. In effect, each individual part of the brain is doing its respective job, and each then passes information to the next level of command. This continues until the thought or function—say, sight or sound—becomes apparent.

"There are many layers behind the curtain, so to speak," Gazzaniga said.

The real question, though, is how to figure out how those layers communicate with one another. What is the protocol? "We have to think about this from the perspective that something can have dual natures, such as how light can be a particle and a wave," he said, adding, "but we don't yet know how that works."
nct  ncpin  Psychology  Books  Consciousness  Philosophy  Neuroscience  Science 
6 weeks ago by walt74
Algorithmic culture. “Culture now has two audiences: people and machines”
Futurists Views: <a href="https://medium.com/futurists-views/algorithmic-culture-culture-now-has-two-audiences-people-and-machines-2bdaa404f643">Algorithmic culture. “Culture now has two audiences: people and machines”</a>

<b>How are technology and culture shaping each other?</b>

This is a difficult question, but only because we cannot presume to know in advance what “technology” and “culture” mean. For my part, I believe it’s always better to think of both as moving targets.

Technology and culture can “shape” or “influence” each another if and only if one proceeds from the assumption that they are separable, conceptually or semantically. For most of the past two centuries this has effectively been the case, but it is has not always been so. Until about 1800, the word “culture” in English referred to husbandry—that is, to techniques for tending crops and domesticated animals, including selective breeding. Sometimes it was used interchangeably with the world “coulter,” which is a part of a plough. Technology and culture used to be very closely aligned, so much so that it was difficult to imagine the one apart from the other.

That changed with the coming of modernity, when culture started to take on a more distinctly humane connotation. It was only then that one could begin to imagine technology corrupting culture, as the German philosophers Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno famously did back in 1944, in their critique of the “culture industry,” and as have the many who have followed in their wake.

Today, however, we are experiencing a shift with regard to the meaning of technology and culture. Though not a return exactly to the pre-modern understanding, it seems clear that both words are fusing back together in interesting ways. You can see this through the emergence of any number of phenomena, but consider two: Google and the digital humanities.

Google uses electricity, silicon, and plastic, all working in conjunction with an army of human engineers, to rank the importance of people, places, objects, and ideas. Though the means and ends are different, this is akin to what, back in 1869, the English literary critic Matthew Arnold said was the purpose of culture: to determine “the best which has been thought and said.”

Likewise, the digital humanities uses computational tools to tell people things about cultural goods that they cannot fully adduce themselves—a previously unrecognized literary genre subtending across several thousand novels, for instance, or the identity of an anonymous author, determined by parsing the stylistic idiosyncrasies of tens-of-thousands of authors.

What does it say about “human” culture, then, when key aspects of it may be intelligible only to machines?

<b>How will you define the “Culture of Algorithms”?</b>

My preferred phrase is “algorithmic culture,” which I use in the first instance to refer to the the ways in which computers, running complex mathematical formulae, engage in what’s often considered to be the traditional work of culture: the sorting, classifying, and hierarchizing of people, places, objects, and ideas. The Google example from above illustrates the point, although it’s also the case elsewhere on the internet. Facebook engages in much the same work in determining which of your friends, and which of their posts, will appear prominently in your news feed. The same goes for shopping sites and video or music streaming services, when they offer you products based on the ones you (or someone purportedly like you) have already consumed.

What’s important to note, though, is the way in which algorithmic culture then feeds back to produce new habits of thought, conduct, and expression that likely wouldn’t exist in its absence—a culture of algorithms, as it were. The worry here, pointed out by Eli Pariser and others, is that this culture tends to reinforce more than it challenges one’s existing preferences or ways of doing things. This is what is often called “personalization,” though Pariser calls it a “you loop” instead. By the same token, it is possible for algorithmic systems to introduce you to cultural goods that you might not have encountered otherwise. Today, culture may only be as good as its algorithms.
ncpin  AlgoCulture  nct  AI  Tech 
6 weeks ago by walt74
Polarization Has Nothing To Do With Ideology
Interessante These zum Phänomen der Polarisation, die im echten Leben gar nicht so häufig anzutreffen ist, sich in Meinungsäußerungen dennoch (wie wir alle wissen) massiv zeigt, grade online. Laut Eric Groenendyk der Uni Memphis führt die Unzufriedenheit mit dem <em>eigenen</em> Lager zu einer erhöhten <em>geäußerten</em> Unzufriedenheit mit der Gegenseite, und zwar um unsere eigene politische Denkweise und die Story, die wir über uns selbst erzählen, als Teil unserer Identität zu bewahren. Wir projizieren also die gefühlten Verfehlungen unserer eigenen Denkrichtung zusätzlich auf die der Gegenseite und im Ergebnis erhöht sich die Polarisation.

Das kann man hierzulande problemlos auf die Schröder-SPD anwenden, in den USA dürfte die Unzufriedenheit mit Obama im progressiven Lager ebenfalls relativ hoch sein, der sein Change-Versprechen nie wirklich einlösen konnte. Ergibt Sinn. Bleibt für ich die Frage: Das Phänomen dürfte schon seit ungefähr immer existieren, entwickelt aber erst in Kombination mit dem Netz die Wirkung, die es offensichtlich hat. Warum? (Kurze Antwort: Weil wir exponentiell mehr Unsinn vom politischen Opponenten sehen, als noch vor wenigen Jahren, es geht also auch hier mal wieder um allumfassende digitale Sichtbarkeit.)

Link: <a href="http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/americas-polarization-has-nothing-to-do-with-ideology/">America’s Polarization Has Nothing To Do With Ideology</a>
The claim that most of us have a coherent bundle of ideological constraints that inform our policy preferences and voting choices has little empirical support. The number of consistent liberals and conservatives in the electorate remains very small. The Bible-thumping, pro-war, free-market purist is a rare creature. So is the gun-grabbing, abortion-loving, socialist atheist. Perfect conservative and liberal stereotypes are hard to find in the real world. […]

This claim, that polarization is not occurring, seems at odds with our everyday experiences. People are angry about politics, and strongly dislike their political opponents even when they substantively agree with them on many policy questions. After countless empirical studies and debates, scholars are inching their way towards an explanation for these contradictory trends.

Part of the apparent paradox may be explained by the nature of partisanship. Rather than the result of a rational analysis of various policy positions, it may be better to think of party allegiance as an element of personal identity. This is a point that many conservatives who decry “identity politics” often miss. Party politics itself can be a form of identity politics, even if our party identifications are downstream from other elements of identity, such as race, religion, and class.

Yet this still leaves an unresolved puzzle. We know that Republicans and Democrats strongly dislike each other. But what pundits don’t always like to talk about is how much partisans themselves increasingly disapprove of their own parties. […]

Eric Groenendyk of the University of Memphis may have found a solution to this puzzle. In a recent article (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/pops.12481), Groenendyk offers a new explanation for how partisans’ antipathy toward the opposing party can coexist with growing frustration towards their own. In his earlier book Competing Motives in the Partisan Mind, Groenendyk developed the “dual motivations” theory of party identification. In short, partisans have different motives for identifying with their parties, and these sometimes conflict. Because party identification is an important part of personal identity, we want to be good and loyal partisans and we feel good when our team wins. On the other hand, we like to imagine ourselves as rational beings, forming political opinions and loyalties according to our analysis of what is happening in the world.

Ideally, there should never be dissonance between the two. When our party wins elections and enjoys real power, we hope that it delivers on its promises, providing peace, prosperity, and stability. When this fails to occur, however, our two motivations are in conflict, and we can suffer psychological turmoil. From a purely rational perspective, when our party disappoints us, we should reevaluate our support for that party, becoming independent or even joining the other side. If our party identification is a crucial part of our identity, however, this is easier said than done. Party allegiance is not fixed, but it’s also not something most of us abandon easily.

According to Groenendyk, we can resolve the tension between our party identifications and our frustration with our parties by increasing our antipathy toward our parties’ opponents. In other words, we can justify our vote choice if we believe the opposing party is worse. This allows us to acknowledge our disgust with our parties without jumping ship. […] This process results in a curious variety of polarization. Few people love their party and think it represents their interests well. Nevertheless, we increasingly hate the other option, and this is enough to keep us in our respective camps.
nct  ncpin  Politics  DasGeileNeueInternet  Polarization 
7 weeks ago by walt74
'Anti-authority' tech rebels take on ISPs, connect NYC with cheap Wi-Fi
Picture a spiderweb of wireless connections. The main signal originates from what's called the Supernode. It's a direct plugin to the internet, via an internet exchange point — the same place Internet Service Providers get their connection. The signal from the supernode, sent out wirelessly via an antenna, covers an area of several kilometres. From there, a mesh of smaller antennas spread out on rooftops or balconies receive that signal. They're connected to Wi-Fi access points that allow people to use the internet. […]

"Mesh networks are an alternative to standard ISP hookups. You're not provided with an internet connection through their cable, but through — in our case —Wi-Fi networks," says Jason Howard, a programmer and actor who's helping with the latest installation. […] Zach Giles is one of the brains behind the network and one its busiest volunteers. When he's not working his day job in finance, he's maintaining the supernode. The rooftop has become his second office.

He's a mesh network evangelist who says most people don't realize they don't need to rely on traditional ISPs to get online. "That's the myth of the ISP," Giles says in between installing another antenna.

nct  ncpin  Tech  Internet  MeshNetworks  DIY 
7 weeks ago by walt74
The myth of an ending: why even removing Trump from office won’t save American democracy
the desire for a dramatic explosion of the Trump presidency at times seems to blend into a desire for the dramatic blowup of the American political system altogether, a sense that we need some apocalyptic event that will wipe the slate clean and revitalize our democracy in one big revolutionary motion. It’s no accident that the rise of Trump has coincided with fearful but titillated worries about coups d’état, collapses into tyranny, and even a second American civil war or secession. These concerns are partially specific to Trump. But they reflect worries that transcend him too.

The reality is that Trump’s removal or resignation from office, while desirable, would not do much to change the trajectory of America’s political institutions. And the mounting desire for something cataclysmic that could change their trajectory strikes me as dangerous. The best we can do, I fear, is to muddle along and try our best to keep things from getting worse. And the less we accept that, and the more we escape into fantasias of collapse and redemption, the harder making those modest incremental improvements will be. […]

Humans, as the late literary critic Frank Kermode argued in his book The Sense of an Ending, crave narrative structure. “We are surrounded by [chaos], and equipped for coexistence with it only by our fictive powers,” he writes. We can’t see the world as a sequence of events, one right after another, with no end or resolution in sight. “To see everything as out of mere succession,” he observes, “is to behave like a man drugged or insane.”

We can’t see what’s happening to American politics as just a succession of events that, in themselves, mean nothing. They have to be leading up to a climactic Götterdämmerung in which our slate is wiped clean. This is the yearning behind bold predictions of the Trump administration’s collapse, or of a dramatic descent into tyranny at Trump’s hand.

We fantasize about an early, dramatic end to the Trump years in part because that signals a return to normalcy and a rejection of all the dysfunctions he symbolizes. For more sophisticated observers who know that the forces that produced Trump will continue after he’s gone, you see either a wallowing into dystopia — musing about an American descent into outright tyranny, of the kind occurring in the formerly democratic Hungary and Poland right now. Or you see fantasies of utopia, as in Bernie Sanders’s characterization of the anti-Trump resistance as a broader “political revolution, something long overdue” that will sweep into power “an agenda that works for the working families of our country and not just the billionaire class.”
DonaldTrump  Politics  Storys  nct  Memetics  Dystopia  Utopia  ncpin 
7 weeks ago by walt74
Yanis Varoufakis: Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out
Anyone reading the manifesto today will be surprised to discover a picture of a world much like our own, teetering fearfully on the edge of technological innovation. In the manifesto’s time, it was the steam engine that posed the greatest challenge to the rhythms and routines of feudal life. The peasantry were swept into the cogs and wheels of this machinery and a new class of masters, the factory owners and the merchants, usurped the landed gentry’s control over society. Now, it is artificial intelligence and automation that loom as disruptive threats, promising to sweep away “all fixed, fast-frozen relations”. “Constantly revolutionising … instruments of production,” the manifesto proclaims, transform “the whole relations of society”, bringing about “constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation”.

For Marx and Engels, however, this disruption is to be celebrated. It acts as a catalyst for the final push humanity needs to do away with our remaining prejudices that underpin the great divide between those who own the machines and those who design, operate and work with them. “All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned,” they write in the manifesto of technology’s effect, “and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind”. By ruthlessly vaporising our preconceptions and false certainties, technological change is forcing us, kicking and screaming, to face up to how pathetic our relations with one another are.

Today, we see this reckoning in millions of words, in print and online, used to debate globalisation’s discontents. While celebrating how globalisation has shifted billions from abject poverty to relative poverty, venerable western newspapers, Hollywood personalities, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, bishops and even multibillionaire financiers all lament some of its less desirable ramifications: unbearable inequality, brazen greed, climate change, and the hijacking of our parliamentary democracies by bankers and the ultra-rich.
Communism  Politics  nct  ncpin  Tech  Capitalism 
7 weeks ago by walt74
Are You Really the Product? – The history of a dangerous idea.
It’s time for Facebook’s critics to move past what has become a tired cliché. There’s something nihilistic about telling people they’re the product of a gigantic corporation and there’s nothing they can do about it. “You are the product” paints us as powerless pawns in Facebook’s game but gives us no leverage with which to improve our predicament. […]

There are at least two alternative ways of viewing our relationship to Facebook that hold more promise for making that relationship a healthier and less exploitive one. The first is to view ourselves as customers of Facebook, paying with our time, attention, and data instead of with money. This implies greater responsibility on both sides. If we understood that Facebook and other “free” online services exact real costs to things we value, we might use them more sparingly and judiciously. We might finally grasp that every time we grant new data permissions or sign on to a new privacy policy, we’re almost certainly giving up a lot. Even if we don’t have time to read the whole thing, let alone comprehend it, we could equate it in our minds to spending hundreds of dollars—and then make better decisions about whether that specific app or update is still worth it to us. Ideally this formulation of users as customers forces on Facebook and other apps the responsibility of earning their loyalty, convincing them that their service is worth the tradeoffs, and not violating their trust.

The second is to view ourselves as part of Facebook’s labor force. Just as bees labor unwittingly on beekeepers’ behalf, our posts and status updates continually enrich Facebook. But we’re humans, not bees, and as such we have the capacity to collectively demand better treatment. The technologist and activist Jaron Lanier, carrying this analogy to its logical conclusion in the book Who Owns the Future?, suggested that users of Facebook and other data-hungry online services rise up and demand actual monetary compensation for their data. That seems a little far-fetched, but at the very least citizens and their representatives in governments should demand more robust protections and legal rights. The European Union’s new privacy law, the General Data Protection Requirement, could be viewed as akin to a bill of worker’s rights for users of online services.
nct  DasGeileNeueInternet  Economy  AttentionEconomy  ncpin  Facebook 
7 weeks ago by walt74
Real People Are Turning Their Accounts Into Bots On Instagram — And Cashing In
Echte Menschen bilden Netzwerke auf kommerziellen Plattformen um sich gegenseitig Fake-Likes hin- und herzuschieben. The Fake-Business-Smile of the 21st century.
In late February, an Instagram account called Viral Hippo posted a photo of a black square. There was nothing special about the photo, or the square, and certainly not the account that posted it. And yet within 24 hours, it amassed over 1,500 likes from a group that included a verified model followed by 296,000 people, a verified influencer followed by 228,000, a bunch of fitness coaches, some travel accounts, and various small businesses. “I really love this photo,” one commented.

The commenter wasn’t a bot; nor were any of the accounts that liked the black square. But their interest in it wasn’t genuine. These were real people, but not real likes — none of them clicked on the like button themselves. Instead, they used a paid service that automatically likes and comments on other posts for them. Instagram says this is against its terms of service, but it continues to operate. It's called Fuelgram and, for a few dollars a month and access to your Instagram log-in credentials, it will use the accounts of everyone who paid that sum to like and comment on your posts — and it will use yours to do the same to theirs.

In other words, Fuelgram creates fake engagement from real Instagram accounts. And it's quite effective. Fuelgram makes posts appear more popular than they are, tricking Instagram's algorithm into spreading them further, sometimes right into the service's high-profile Explore tab. And there's a reasonable chance there's one in your feed right now, because Fuelgram is just one of a number of Instagram-juicing services available today, and the photo-sharing platform's engagement-rewarding algorithm incentivizes people to use it.
nct  ncpin  Instagram  DasGeileNeueInternet  Fake  SocialMedia  AttentionEconomy  Bots 
8 weeks ago by walt74
Post-Authenticity and the Ironic Truths of Meme Culture
What is changing, I argue, are the cultural formats people are using for discussion — the carrier waves for this signal. This is where “authenticity” isn’t a useful claim any more, having been wholly co-opted and commodified into its opposite. Culture and the way we communicate — shaped by media affordances — have become more complex, ironic, and multi-layered than that.

It turns out, even people who share fake news stories are trying to tell a kind of truth too.

At SXSW Edu this year, technology researcher danah boyd argued that we’ve been rather uncharitable in our analyses of why people share fake news. The assumption is that people really believe the claims they share — that is, they’re ill-informed; that is, they’re stupid. It turns out not to be quite so simple:

“Yet, if you talk with someone who has posted clear, unquestionable misinformation, more often than not, they know it’s bullshit. Or they don’t care whether or not it’s true. Why do they post it then? Because they’re making a statement. The people who posted this meme [shown below] didn’t bother to fact check this claim. They didn’t care. What they wanted to signal loud and clear is that they hated Hillary Clinton. And that message was indeed heard loud and clear. As a result, they are very offended if you tell them that they’ve been duped by Russians into spreading propaganda. They don’t believe you for one second.”

Link: https://medium.com/s/story/post-authenticity-and-the-real-truths-of-meme-culture-f98b24d645a0
ncpin  nct  Memetics  DasGeileNeueInternet  Kids  Youth  Media 
8 weeks ago by walt74
An Apology for the Internet — From the Architects Who Built It
NYMag mit einer Interviewserie mit einer Reihe Netz-Pioniere über alles, was in den letzten Jahren so schiefgelaufen ist. Unter anderem mit Jaron Lanier (VR-Pionier), Ellen Pao (Reddit), Tristan Harris (Design Ethics), Ethan Zuckerman (Inventor Popup-Banner) und einige mehr.
To understand what went wrong — how the Silicon Valley dream of building a networked utopia turned into a globalized strip-mall casino overrun by pop-up ads and cyberbullies and Vladimir Putin — we spoke to more than a dozen architects of our digital present. If the tech industry likes to assume the trappings of a religion, complete with a quasi-messianic story of progress, the Church of Tech is now giving rise to a new sect of apostates, feverishly confessing their own sins. And the internet’s original sin, as these programmers and investors and CEOs make clear, was its business model. […]

None of the companies hid their plans or lied about how their money was made. But as users became deeply enmeshed in the increasingly addictive web of surveillance, the leading digital platforms became wildly popular.

Pao: There’s this idea that, “Yes, they can use this information to manipulate other people, but I’m not gonna fall for that, so I’m protected from being manipulated.” Slowly, over time, you become addicted to the interactions, so it’s hard to opt out. And they just keep taking more and more of your time and pushing more and more fake news. It becomes easy just to go about your life and assume that things are being taken care of.

McNamee: If you go back to the early days of propaganda theory, Edward Bernays had a hypothesis that to implant an idea and make it universally acceptable, you needed to have the same message appearing in every medium all the time for a really long period of time. The notion was it could only be done by a government. Then Facebook came along, and it had this ability to personalize for every single user. Instead of being a broadcast model, it was now 2.2 billion individualized channels. It was the most effective product ever created to revolve around human emotions.

García: If you pulled the plug on Facebook, there would literally be riots in the streets. So in the back of Facebook’s mind, they know that they’re stepping on people’s toes. But in the end, people are happy to have the product, so why not step on toes? This is where they just wade into the whole cesspit of human psychology. The algorithm, by default, placates you by shielding you from the things you don’t want to hear about. That, to me, is the scary part. The real problem isn’t Facebook — it’s humans.

McNamee: They’re basically trying to trigger fear and anger to get the outrage cycle going, because outrage is what makes you be more deeply engaged. You spend more time on the site and you share more stuff. Therefore, you’re going to be exposed to more ads, and that makes you more valuable. In 2008, when they put their first app on the iPhone, the whole ballgame changed. Suddenly Bernays’s dream of the universal platform reaching everybody through every medium at the same time was achieved by a single device. You marry the social triggers to personalized content on a device that most people check on their way to pee in the morning and as the last thing they do before they turn the light out at night. You literally have a persuasion engine unlike any created in history.
ncpin  nct  DasGeileNeueInternet  SocialMedia  Internet  Interview 
8 weeks ago by walt74
BBC: Finland's basic income trial ends
Lazy Journalism from the BBC: Finland merely ends its trial, which was never a good trial regarding Universal Basic Income in the first place and their original headline („Finland's basic income trial falls flat“) makes it sound as if the principle failed, but numbers and evaluation will not be published until 2019.

However: Finlands UBI-Experiment has ended. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43866700

„The Finnish government has decided not to expand a limited trial in paying people a basic income, which has drawn much international interest.“

More about UBI in Joi Itos THE PARADOX OF UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME at Wired: https://www.wired.com/story/the-paradox-of-universal-basic-income/
A Finnish welfare agency, Kela, and a group of researchers proposed paying between 550 and 700 euros a month to both workers and nonworkers around that country. Finland’s conservative government then began tweaking the proposal, most importantly eliminating the part of the plan that paid people who had jobs, and only providing UBI for those receiving unemployment benefits instead. It had no interest in whether UBI would allow people to look for better jobs or to train themselves for the jobs of the future. The government declared that the “primary goal of the basic income experiment is related to promoting employment.” And so what started as a credible experiment in empowering labor and liberal values became a conservative program to get more people to go back to crappy jobs—and a great warning about the impact that politics can have on efforts to test or deploy UBI. (We must wait until 2019 to see the full extent of the outcome.)
Grundeinkommen  Politics  Economy  ncpin  nct 
8 weeks ago by walt74
The Era of Fake Video Begins and the collapse of reality
„We’re not so far from the collapse of reality“. I hate to say this again and again and again, I'm tired and sick of it but it's still true: Told you so.
The internet has always contained the seeds of postmodern hell. Mass manipulation, from clickbait to Russian bots to the addictive trickery that governs Facebook’s News Feed, is the currency of the medium. It has always been a place where identity is terrifyingly slippery, where anonymity breeds coarseness and confusion, where crooks can filch the very contours of selfhood. In this respect, the rise of deepfakes is the culmination of the internet’s history to date—and probably only a low-grade version of what’s to come.

Vladimir Nabokov once wrote that reality is one of the few words that means nothing without quotation marks. He was sardonically making a basic point about relative perceptions: When you and I look at the same object, how do you really know that we see the same thing? Still, institutions (media, government, academia) have helped people coalesce around a consensus—rooted in a faith in reason and empiricism—about how to describe the world, albeit a fragile consensus that has been unraveling in recent years. Social media have helped bring on a new era, enabling individuated encounters with the news that confirm biases and sieve out contravening facts. The current president has further hastened the arrival of a world beyond truth, providing the imprimatur of the highest office to falsehood and conspiracy.

But soon this may seem an age of innocence. We’ll shortly live in a world where our eyes routinely deceive us. Put differently, we’re not so far from the collapse of reality.
ncpin  DasGeileNeueInternet  nct  FakeNews  AI  AlgoCulture  Philosophy 
8 weeks ago by walt74
We’re underestimating the mind-warping potential of fake video
False memories fester when they make sense to our political worldview, when it’s familiar and repeated ad nauseam, when we trust the source of the information, and when this information is corroborated, shared, and discussed by like-minded people.

Where else do all these things happen? Social media. Fake stories tend to move more quickly to people on these platforms than the truth, fueled by surprise and bias.

And so what happens when doctored audio and video get added to the mix? (Shudders.)

Most of the studies on false memories were conducted with faked photos or written documents. Since it’s so new, no one has studied the effect of deepfake video yet, but Levine and Loftus suspect it will be even more compelling. “Here that person is, in the midst of that situation, saying and doing these things,” Levine said. If the video is seamless, that’s going to be convincing. And “it’s legitimately worrisome,” she says.

Loftus agrees: “Having the [faked] video, and the richness of it, is just going to exacerbate the false memory potential,” she says.

Link: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/4/20/17109764/deepfake-ai-false-memory-psychology
nct  ncpin  Psychology  DasGeileNeueInternet  FakeNews 
8 weeks ago by walt74
Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos
In a series of results reported in the journals Physical Review Letters and Chaos, scientists have used machine learning—the same computational technique behind recent successes in artificial intelligence—to predict the future evolution of chaotic systems out to stunningly distant horizons. The approach is being lauded by outside experts as groundbreaking and likely to find wide application.

“I find it really amazing how far into the future they predict” a system’s chaotic evolution, said Herbert Jaeger, a professor of computational science at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany.

The findings come from veteran chaos theorist Edward Ott and four collaborators at the University of Maryland. They employed a machine-learning algorithm called reservoir computing to “learn” the dynamics of an archetypal chaotic system called the Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation. The evolving solution to this equation behaves like a flame front, flickering as it advances through a combustible medium. The equation also describes drift waves in plasmas and other phenomena, and serves as “a test bed for studying turbulence and spatiotemporal chaos,” said Jaideep Pathak, Ott’s graduate student and the lead author of the new papers.

After training itself on data from the past evolution of the Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation, the researchers’ reservoir computer could then closely predict how the flamelike system would continue to evolve out to eight “Lyapunov times” into the future, eight times further ahead than previous methods allowed, loosely speaking. The Lyapunov time represents how long it takes for two almost-identical states of a chaotic system to exponentially diverge. As such, it typically sets the horizon of predictability.

“This is really very good,” Holger Kantz, a chaos theorist at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany, said of the eight-Lyapunov-time prediction. “The machine-learning technique is almost as good as knowing the truth, so to say.”

Link: https://www.wired.com/story/machine-learnings-amazing-ability-to-predict-chaos/
AI  MachineLearning  AlgoCulture  nct  ncpin  Tech  ChaosTheory  Science 
8 weeks ago by walt74
This algorithm automatically spots “face swaps” in videos
Andreas Rossler at the Technical University of Munich in Germany and colleagues […] developed a deep-learning system that can automatically spot face-swap videos. The new technique could help identify forged videos as they are posted to the web.

But the work also has sting in the tail. The same deep-learning technique that can spot face-swap videos can also be used to improve the quality of face swaps in the first place—and that could make them harder to detect.

The new technique relies on a deep-learning algorithm that Rossler and co have trained to spot face swaps. These algorithms can only learn from huge annotated data sets of good examples, which simply have not existed until now.

So the team began by creating a large data set of face-swap videos and their originals. They use two types of face swaps that can be easily made using software called Face2Face. (This software was created by some members of this team.)

The first type of face swap superimposes one person’s face on another’s body so that it takes on their expressions. The second takes the expressions from one face and modifies a second face to show them.

The team have done this with over 1,000 videos, creating a database of about half a million images in which the faces have been manipulated with state-of-the-art face-editing software. They called this the FaceForensics database.

Link: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610784/this-algorithm-automatically-spots-face-swaps-in-videos/
ncpin  nct  Tech  AlgoCulture  Face2Face  Facetracking  ComputerVision  AI 
8 weeks ago by walt74
Why it’s as hard to escape an echo chamber as it is to flee a cult – C Thi Nguyen | Aeon Essays
Good piece on 2 sorts of Information Bubbles (Echo Chambers, Episdemic Bubbles), which sound to me like good descriptions between Left- and Rightwing-Informationbubbles we encounter for a while now.

Aeon: https://aeon.co/essays/why-its-as-hard-to-escape-an-echo-chamber-as-it-is-to-flee-a-cult
Something has gone wrong with the flow of information. It’s not just that different people are drawing subtly different conclusions from the same evidence. It seems like different intellectual communities no longer share basic foundational beliefs. Maybe nobody cares about the truth anymore, as some have started to worry. Maybe political allegiance has replaced basic reasoning skills. Maybe we’ve all become trapped in echo chambers of our own making – wrapping ourselves in an intellectually impenetrable layer of likeminded friends and web pages and social media feeds.

But there are two very different phenomena at play here, each of which subvert the flow of information in very distinct ways. Let’s call them echo chambers and epistemic bubbles. Both are social structures that systematically exclude sources of information. Both exaggerate their members’ confidence in their beliefs. But they work in entirely different ways, and they require very different modes of intervention. An epistemic bubble is when you don’t hear people from the other side. An echo chamber is what happens when you don’t trust people from the other side.

Current usage has blurred this crucial distinction, so let me introduce a somewhat artificial taxonomy. An ‘epistemic bubble’ is an informational network from which relevant voices have been excluded by omission. That omission might be purposeful: we might be selectively avoiding contact with contrary views because, say, they make us uncomfortable. As social scientists tell us, we like to engage in selective exposure, seeking out information that confirms our own worldview. But that omission can also be entirely inadvertent. Even if we’re not actively trying to avoid disagreement, our Facebook friends tend to share our views and interests. When we take networks built for social reasons and start using them as our information feeds, we tend to miss out on contrary views and run into exaggerated degrees of agreement.

An ‘echo chamber’ is a social structure from which other relevant voices have been actively discredited. Where an epistemic bubble merely omits contrary views, an echo chamber brings its members to actively distrust outsiders. In their book Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment (2010), Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Frank Cappella offer a groundbreaking analysis of the phenomenon. For them, an echo chamber is something like a cult. A cult isolates its members by actively alienating them from any outside sources. Those outside are actively labelled as malignant and untrustworthy. A cult member’s trust is narrowed, aimed with laser-like focus on certain insider voices.

In epistemic bubbles, other voices are not heard; in echo chambers, other voices are actively undermined. The way to break an echo chamber is not to wave “the facts” in the faces of its members. It is to attack the echo chamber at its root and repair that broken trust.

Let’s start with epistemic bubbles. They have been in the limelight lately, most famously in Eli Pariser’s The Filter Bubble (2011) and Cass Sunstein’s #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media (2017). The general gist: we get much of our news from Facebook feeds and similar sorts of social media. Our Facebook feed consists mostly of our friends and colleagues, the majority of whom share our own political and cultural views. We visit our favourite like-minded blogs and websites. At the same time, various algorithms behind the scenes, such as those inside Google search, invisibly personalise our searches, making it more likely that we’ll see only what we want to see. These processes all impose filters on information.

Such filters aren’t necessarily bad. The world is overstuffed with information, and one can’t sort through it all by oneself: filters need to be outsourced. That’s why we all depend on extended social networks to deliver us knowledge. But any such informational network needs the right sort of broadness and variety to work. A social network composed entirely of incredibly smart, obsessive opera fans would deliver all the information I could want about the opera scene, but it would fail to clue me in to the fact that, say, my country had been infested by a rising tide of neo-Nazis. Each individual person in my network might be superbly reliable about her particular informational patch but, as an aggregate structure, my network lacks what Sanford Goldberg in his book Relying on Others (2010) calls ‘coverage-reliability’. It doesn’t deliver to me a sufficiently broad and representative coverage of all the relevant information.

Epistemic bubbles also threaten us with a second danger: excessive self-confidence. In a bubble, we will encounter exaggerated amounts of agreement and suppressed levels of disagreement. We’re vulnerable because, in general, we actually have very good reason to pay attention to whether other people agree or disagree with us. Looking to others for corroboration is a basic method for checking whether one has reasoned well or badly. This is why we might do our homework in study groups, and have different laboratories repeat experiments. But not all forms of corroboration are meaningful. Ludwig Wittgenstein says: imagine looking through a stack of identical newspapers and treating each next newspaper headline as yet another reason to increase your confidence. This is obviously a mistake. The fact that The New York Times reports something is a reason to believe it, but any extra copies of The New York Times that you encounter shouldn’t add any extra evidence.

But outright copies aren’t the only problem here. Suppose that I believe that the Paleo diet is the greatest diet of all time. I assemble a Facebook group called ‘Great Health Facts!’ and fill it only with people who already believe that Paleo is the best diet. The fact that everybody in that group agrees with me about Paleo shouldn’t increase my confidence level one bit. They’re not mere copies – they actually might have reached their conclusions independently – but their agreement can be entirely explained by my method of selection. The group’s unanimity is simply an echo of my selection criterion. It’s easy to forget how carefully pre-screened the members are, how epistemically groomed social media circles might be.

Luckily, though, epistemic bubbles are easily shattered. We can pop an epistemic bubble simply by exposing its members to the information and arguments that they’ve missed. But echo chambers are a far more pernicious and robust phenomenon.

Jamieson and Cappella’s book is the first empirical study into how echo chambers function. In their analysis, echo chambers work by systematically alienating their members from all outside epistemic sources. Their research centres on Rush Limbaugh, a wildly successful conservative firebrand in the United States, along with Fox News and related media. Limbaugh uses methods to actively transfigure whom his listeners trust. His constant attacks on the ‘mainstream media’ are attempts to discredit all other sources of knowledge. He systematically undermines the integrity of anybody who expresses any kind of contrary view. And outsiders are not simply mistaken – they are malicious, manipulative and actively working to destroy Limbaugh and his followers. The resulting worldview is one of deeply opposed force, an all-or-nothing war between good and evil. Anybody who isn’t a fellow Limbaugh follower is clearly opposed to the side of right, and therefore utterly untrustworthy

The result is a rather striking parallel to the techniques of emotional isolation typically practised in cult indoctrination. According to mental-health specialists in cult recovery, including Margaret Singer, Michael Langone and Robert Lifton, cult indoctrination involves new cult members being brought to distrust all non-cult members. This provides a social buffer against any attempts to extract the indoctrinated person from the cult.

The echo chamber doesn’t need any bad connectivity to function. Limbaugh’s followers have full access to outside sources of information. According to Jamieson and Cappella’s data, Limbaugh’s followers regularly read – but do not accept – mainstream and liberal news sources. They are isolated, not by selective exposure, but by changes in who they accept as authorities, experts and trusted sources. They hear, but dismiss, outside voices. Their worldview can survive exposure to those outside voices because their belief system has prepared them for such intellectual onslaught.
Left  Right  FilterBubbles  Media  DasGeileNeueInternet  ncpin  nct  Politics  Journalism  SocialMedia 
8 weeks ago by walt74
Kevin Kühnert: Juso-Chef will auf SPD-Parteitag für Andrea Nahles stimmen
Ich würde auch Nahles wählen, und zwar weil 1.) die SPD immer noch Sozialdemokratie im Namen trägt und 2.) ich die Nahles mal kennengelernt habe. Coole Frau, mit der kann man Pferde stehlen. Isso.
Kevin Kühnert: Das ist eine der schwierigsten Entscheidungen, die ich bislang treffen musste. Nach langem Abwägen und vielen Gesprächen habe ich mich entschieden: Ich wähle Andrea Nahles. Nicht aus Euphorie, sondern als Vertrauensvorschuss, der an Erwartungen geknüpft ist.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Was meinen Sie damit?

Kühnert: Es gibt viel Misstrauen in der SPD. Und jemand muss diesen Teufelskreis jetzt durchbrechen.
nct  ncpin  Politics  SPD  Left  Election 
9 weeks ago by walt74
Camille Paglia: Feministin gegen rechten Verleger
Titel verändert, Kapitel gestrichen, neues Vorwort eingefügt: Die Feministin Camille Paglia hat ihr Buch "Frauen bleiben, Männer werden" im Antaios Verlag veröffentlicht und streitet sich angesichts massiver Eingriffe in ihr Werk mit dem Verleger herum. Sie sei schockiert von dem skrupellosen Verhalten, so Paglia in der "SZ". […]

Wer aber denkt, Paglia würde jetzt als furiose Anti-Rechte mit den hiesigen Wortführern linksliberaler Orthodoxie kuscheln, hat sich geschnitten.

"Es ärgert mich, dass Menschen, selbst in Deutschland, Angst haben, abweichende Ideen von Feminismus zuzulassen und zu veröffentlichen. Ich bin eine liberale Demokratin, ich gebe meine Stimme den Grünen. Wenn die Ansichten einer Linken von anderen Linken unterdrückt werden, weil sie nicht konform sind, läuft etwas falsch.

Link: http://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/aus-den-feuilletons-feministin-gegen-rechten-verleger.1059.de.html
IlliberalLeft  Feminism  nct  ncpin  Books  Nazis  Right  Left  CamillePaglia 
9 weeks ago by walt74
Camille Paglia: Die düstere, männliche Natur
Alleine dass der Antaios Verlag die Paglia in Deutschland verlegt, offenbart das Versagen der Linken. Leider. Normalerweise müsste ein linker Kleinverlag dieses Buch drucken, aber weil sie alle derselben dämlichen Outrage-Meme folgen (müssen), tut es keiner und Kubitschek muss nur noch das Gold einsammeln, Werbung in der SZ und der Zeit inklusive. Bravo, gut hinbekommen mal wieder. Grml.
Erst hat sie von allem nichts gewusst, und jetzt ist sie "schockiert": Die amerikanische Feministin Camille Paglia hat dem rechtsradikalen Antaios-Verlag ihre Aufsatzsammlung Free Women, Free Men zur Übersetzung angeboten, und nun muss sie zu ihrem Entsetzen feststellen, dass der Verlag politisch unappetitliche Bücher auf den Markt bringt und in Deutschland genau den Ruf hat, den er auch verdient. In der Süddeutschen Zeitung wirft Paglia dem Verlag "Verstümmelung meines geistigen Eigentums" vor. Er habe ihr schönes, unschuldiges Buch schwer misshandelt, er habe Überschriften frech verändert, ganze Sätze halbiert, Passagen einfach weggelassen sowie dem Werk ein neues Vorwort und einen neuen Titel verpasst. Frauen bleiben, Männer werden heißt es nun. Der Verlag findet seine Maßnahmen naturgemäß halb so wild und verspricht, das Originalvorwort künftig als Booklet beizulegen.

Im höheren Dienst philologischer Gerechtigkeit könnte man Camille Paglias Zornesausbruch auf den Grund gehen und die deutsche Übersetzung ihres Buches auf nachträglich eingefügte braune Stellen durchmustern. Doch viel aufschlussreicher ist die Frage: Was ist das für eine seltsame Mesalliance? Warum reißt sich ein rechtsradikaler Verlag darum, die Aufsätze einer amerikanischen Feministin zu veröffentlichen, die sich als linke Demokratin versteht, als Bewunderin von Bernie Sanders und Angela Merkel?

Die Erklärung ist einfach: Camille Paglia vertritt, höflich gesagt, einen sehr speziellen Feminismus. Dieser kreist um den Vorwurf, dass die Sache der Frauen an den, wörtlich, "Stalinismus" der männerhassenden Gendertheorie verraten wurde. Die erste Welle des Feminismus – Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy und viele andere – sei großartig gewesen, doch nach ihr gelangten die Erzieherinnen an die Macht. Anstatt sich darauf zu beschränken, für Frauen gleiche Rechte zu fordern, versuchte das "neue feministische Establishment", Männer abzurichten und ihr biologisches Wesen zu verändern. Seit diesem Verrat an den wahren Zielen des Feminismus gibt es nichts Großes mehr auf diesem Feld, es gibt nur noch Camille Paglia. "Ich bin eine Kriegerin. Ich muss mich nicht in einer Frauengruppe ausweinen. Mein Leben ist Hardrock. Ich mache keine Gefangenen." Dem ist nicht zu widersprechen. Die Tochter italoamerikanischer Eltern liebt den Krawall und gratuliert allen Verlagen, die ihre Bücher nicht drucken wollen. Es sind eine Menge.

Link: http://www.zeit.de/kultur/literatur/2018-04/camille-paglia-antaios-feminismus-rechtes-denken/komplettansicht
IlliberalLeft  Feminism  nct  ncpin  Books  Nazis  Right  Left  CamillePaglia 
9 weeks ago by walt74
Eine neue Dimension
Die Polizei veröffentlicht Ende März das Video einer Schlägerei zwischen Fussballultras mitten in Zürich. Die Onlinemedien verlinken es euphorisch. Psychologen werden bemüht, die Medien sind «ratlos», «betroffen» und «schockiert». […]

Diese Stadt ist voll von «anderen» – von Menschen, die vielleicht nichts tun, ausser lange zu schlafen, von Leuten, die das Sozialamt bescheissen, von solchen, die laut mit der Luft schimpfen, von KneipenschlägerInnen, Prostituierten, Hooligans, SprayerInnen, HausbesetzerInnen, Illegalisierten, Kleinkriminellen; voll von Leuten, die sich absichtlich oder unabsichtlich Ärger mit dem Gesetz einhandeln, von Leuten, die, aus welchen Gründen auch immer, manchmal nicht klarkommen mit dem Leben.

Aber all das schieben wir weg von uns. Denunzieren es. Prangern es an. Wollen nichts mit irgendwas zu tun haben, was die allgemeine Ruhe stört. Wir wollen auch gar nicht wirklich wissen, was sich manifestiert. Ein offener Blick könnte als Verständnis ausgelegt werden und Verständnis als Schwäche, und schwach will niemand sein in Zeiten von Dauerrufen nach mehr Härte. Eine Härte, die nicht viel anderes ist als der Ausdruck einer Hilflosigkeit. Denn die Phänomene werden nicht verschwinden, egal wie hart wir uns geben. Egal wie sehr wir sie verdrängen, sie werden weiterhin in unseren immer reglementierteren und engmaschigeren Alltag einschlagen. Zum Beispiel mit einem Video. Je empörter wir reagieren, um uns zu versichern, dass wir die Guten sind, desto weniger verstehen wir, was passiert. Desto heftiger erschüttern uns die Einschläge.

Link: https://www.woz.ch/-89ca
nct  ncpin  Violence  Journalism  OutrageMemetics  Outrage  DasGeileNeueInternet  Media 
9 weeks ago by walt74
Lagebild von BKA und Verfassungsschutz: "Reichsbürger" verübten mehr als 10.500 Straftaten
Behörden und Politiker sind besorgt über die Gewaltbereitschaft unter "Reichsbürgern". Das Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) und der Verfassungsschutz zählten in einem vertraulichen Lagebild, das dem SPIEGEL vorliegt, von 2015 bis Mitte 2017 mehr als 10.500 Straftaten durch "Reichsbürger".

Allein im ersten Halbjahr des vergangenen Jahres registrierte die Polizei 59 Gewaltdelikte sowie 139 Nötigungen und Bedrohungen. Teile der Szene sind laut der Analyse bereit, "ihre Ideologie im Sinne eines Selbstschutzes unter Gewaltanwendung zu verteidigen" und nähmen dabei auch Tote in Kauf.

Link: http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/bka-reichsbuerger-veruebten-mehr-als-10-500-straftaten-a-1202798.html
Nazis  nct  DasGeileNeueInternet  Conspiracy  ncpin 
10 weeks ago by walt74
There's an AI Running for the Mayoral Role of Tama City, Tokyo
For residents of the painfully small West-Tokyo area of Tama City, there's been a recent storm of chatter surrounding the upcoming mayoral election. This isn't without good reason, of course. You see, if the current nominee Michihito Matsuda happens to earn the most votes during this election, that would make them the world's first AI (Artificial Intelligence) mayor, ushering in a new wave of possibilities for the district. Let's talk about this, as someone who actually lives in the Tama area.

Link: http://otaquest.com/tama-city-ai-mayor/
AI  Japan  Politics  Tech  nct  ncpin  AlgoCulture 
10 weeks ago by walt74
Trumps Krieg gegen die Medien - das Autokraten-Drehbuch
Bewusst oder unbewusst: In der Tat verlaufen die täglichen Angriffe Trumps nach dem klassischen Autokraten-Drehbuch. Trump nutzt offizielle Kanäle, um kritische Medien niederzumachen oder ihnen politisch die Arbeit schwer zu machen. Zugleich propagiert er regierungsnahe Organe wie Fox News und freundliche TV-Lokalsender. Am Ende verlieren die Konsumenten zusehends den Überblick darüber, was Wahrheit ist, was Fake News und was Staatspropaganda.

Link: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/donald-trump-will-journalisten-ueberwachen-lassen-das-autokraten-drehbuch-a-1202113.html
DonaldTrump  nct  ncpin  Fascism  USA  Politics  Media  DasGeileNeueInternet  FakeNews  Journalism 
10 weeks ago by walt74
Private Lives (The Point Mag)
Today the dominant mood is neither pride nor anger but apathy, whatever newspaper columnists would have us believe. Liberal societies have gathered quantities of data beyond the dreams of the most ambitious Communist bureaucrat—yet protests have been comparatively mild, and few have chosen to withdraw from the online portals where most of the spying gets done. […]

It was not until the eighteenth century […] that privacy began to take on the significance that it has for today’s debates. For European elites following Rousseau, privacy was associated less with civility than with a new and more amorphous moral imperative, now known as authenticity. In his political philosophy, Rousseau imagined a society in which individuals could legitimately subsume their private interests, but he considered actually existing society to be a mostly corrupting influence on the individual. In his famous work on education, he prescribes his philosophical guinea pig, Emile, more than a decade of isolation in order to fully develop his capacities before entering into marriage and society. Yet in his Confessions—the first great modern tell-all—Rousseau also provided a model for how to “share” one’s authentic private experiences with the public. The result was a surge of vapid diarists, all anxious to prove that they too had a singular inner life.

The Age of Authenticity was also the age of the modern novel—another genre for which Rousseau’s contribution was transformative. His Julie, read by some as his most persuasive articulation of the ethics of authenticity, was the best-selling book of its century in Europe. French novelists of the next century were left with no choice but to reckon with it. One of Flaubert’s great insights was to see that vapidity itself did not mean an absence of genuine feeling. When Madame Bovary’s lover Rodolphe becomes bored by his mistress’s clichéd outpourings, it is not her but him that Flaubert condemns: “He did not distinguish—this man of so much experience—the difference of feeling beneath the sameness of expression.” It’s a distinguishing mark of “modern” humans, in any case, that we feel the need to prove that our inner life is not hollow. Later novelists continued to play variations on the theme: Proust and Joyce could get away with writing about the minutiae of private life in part because of their mock-epic style, which carried their quotidian freight to philosophical destinations. A more radical risk has been taken by Knausgaard, who has forsaken the safeguard of style altogether: the Norwegian raises the stakes of authenticity by telling his story in the most artless sentences possible.

But what is the link between the cult of authenticity and the sort of privacy that works toward the social good in a liberal polity? From one perspective, the widespread retreat among artists and philosophers into the caverns of the self was a testament to the fading promise of Romantic politics; having failed to transform Europe in the wake of the Age of Revolution, they would have to rest content with transforming their inner selves instead.

At the same time, there was one slice of eighteenth-century society that did attempt to create a bridge between privacy as a self-oriented value and privacy as a precondition for the effective reform of society. This was the cult of Freemasonry. The Masonic associations were seedbeds for the revolutionary tumult that would eventually bring down the ancient regimes of Europe. Their lodges, shrouded in secrecy, were thought to allow space for the development of the moral authority they needed to question the state. A pamphlet from a German lodge in 1859 states that the private lodges do “what neither the state nor the church can. [They] will increase and spread inner virtue and probity.” But they were also meant to protect those who wanted to think and organize against the prevailing politico-economic order without being crushed or infiltrated in advance.
nct  ncpin  Privacy  Philosophy  Surveillance  History  DasGeileNeueInternet 
12 weeks ago by walt74
Why Are So Many Netflix Movies Bad? Here’s Our Theory
I think its funny for Spielberg to say “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie” because he got his break with "Duel", a TV-Movie. But he's correct, the production plays out differently, way more restrained by economic and formal boundaries which a movie production can handle as it wishes, depending on the circumstances. This is why TV-Movies often look the same, especially those from Netflix, not only in Production Design, but Camera Work, Framing and Cutting too.
The more Netflix movies I consume, the more I become convinced they are being designed with specifically this audience in mind. The company knows these films are going to play at home to families with wandering eyes, and not in darkened theater free of diversions.

It’s not that these Netflix movies can’t be enjoyed while you are distracted by your phone or your tablet; it’s that they are undeniably better that way. Paying attention to Bright will only make the film worse by exposing the vast holes in the plot and how little the film’s central metaphor actually matters. The only thing that comes from scrutinizing Mute is wondering why a film about an Amish amateur private eye needed to be set in a dystopian science-fiction future. Glancing at these films occasionally, you can admire their cool production design, makeup, and effects without getting lost in the weeds of their goofy plots.

To some degree, the argument about whether Netflix movies deserve Cannes recognition or Oscar consideration is moot. Increasingly, Netflix isn’t funding movies for Cannes or the Academy Awards (they bought nothing at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, though they’ve acquired a couple titles after the fact), they’re making movies for the person who wants something playing in the background while they shop for cheap workout pants on Amazon. […]

A couple of stars, some cool visuals, and 90 minutes of distraction is enough to say you got “your money’s worth.” If you think I’m wrong ask yourself this question: How many people read this article while “watching” something else on their television?
Movies  Netflix  ncpin  nct  Streaming  Businessbullshit 
12 weeks ago by walt74
The Intellectual We Deserve
Nathan J. Robinson talks about Jordan Peterson as a symptom of our times and he's not wrong at that. With the rest tho, he may very well be.
If Jordan Peterson is the most influential intellectual in the Western world, the Western world has lost its damn mind. And since Jordan Peterson does indeed have a good claim to being the most influential intellectual in the Western world, we need to think seriously about what has gone wrong. What have we done to end up with this man? His success is our failure, and while it’s easy to scoff at him, it’s more important to inquire into how we got to this point. He is a symptom. He shows a culture bereft of ideas, a politics without inspiration or principle. Jordan Peterson may not be the intellectual we want. But he is probably the intellectual we deserve.
JordanPeterson  DasGeileNeueInternet  Psychology  EvoPsych  nct  ncpin 
12 weeks ago by walt74
Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism
For future reference:
Peterson, armed with his “maps of meaning” (the title of his previous book), has only contempt for his fellow academics who tend to emphasize the socially constructed and provisional nature of our perceptions. As with Jung, he presents some idiosyncratic quasi-religious opinions as empirical science, frequently appealing to evolutionary psychology to support his ancient wisdom.

Closer examination, however, reveals Peterson’s ageless insights as a typical, if not archetypal, product of our own times: right-wing pieties seductively mythologized for our current lost generations. […]

In the end, deskbound pedants and fantasists helped bring about, in Thomas Mann’s words in 1936, an extensive “moral devastation” with their “worship of the unconscious”—that “knows no values, no good or evil, no morality.” Nothing less than the foundations for knowledge and ethics, politics and science, collapsed, ultimately triggering the cataclysms of the twentieth century: two world wars, totalitarian regimes, and the Holocaust. It is no exaggeration to say that we are in the midst of a similar intellectual and moral breakdown, one that seems to presage a great calamity. Peterson calls it, correctly, “psychological and social dissolution.” But he is a disturbing symptom of the malaise to which he promises a cure.
JordanPeterson  IlliberalLeft  DasGeileNeueInternet  Psychology  EvoPsych  Nazis  nct  ncpin 
12 weeks ago by walt74
Jede Menge Märchen – Alt-Linke, die Angst vor einer neuen Meinungsdiktatur haben, sollten lieber den Jungen zuhören – und den wahren Feind erkennen.
Interessanter Beitrag von Ambros Waibel über aktuelle Diskursrabbitholes, in dem er tatsächlich über Aktionen schreibt, die ich zumindest in Teilen der Illiberal Left zuschreibe, diese wären ein „gelebtes Märchen“ und würden „wie von Zauberhand gelingen“. Dabei schmeisst er dann die durchaus kritisch zu sehenden Anteile während unsäglicher Gedichts-, MeToo- oder PayGap-Debatten einfach über Bord, schreibt sämtliche Kritik einer Alt-Linken zu und führt als Beweis natürlich einen „gerichtsfest als rechtsradikal bezeichenbaren“ Prof ins Feld. Rosa Brille much, dazu ein bisschen Nazikeule, um die Gegenstimmen mit einem Hauch „rechtsradikal“ zu versehen. Redliche Argumentation sieht anders aus.

Andererseits hat er mit einer Kritik völlig Recht: Diese Alt-Linke hat ihre Chance während der Schröder-Jahre völlig vermasselt. Immerhin ein Anknüfungspunkt mit Herrn Waibel.
betrachten wir diese Erzählung meiner Altersgenossen aus einer allgemeineren Perspektive. Ihr Märchen geht ungefähr so: Nachdem sie selbst sich im politischen Kampf für die Erniedrigten, für den Umweltschutz, die Emanzipation und den Frieden aufgerieben haben, reklamiert nun eine Generation von Unterstrich- und Sternchenschreiber*innen, von genderirren, totalitär toilettenfragenfixierten, identitätspolitischen, „umgekehrten“ Rassisten und Kopftuchlovern die Bühne und zerstört damit die Linke, die Meinungsfreiheit und die Arbeiterklasse. Und – das ist der ultimative Clou des Märchens – diese autoritäre Bewegungen ist eigentlich schuld am Aufstieg der völkischen Banden in Europa, den USA und sonst wo.

Nun genügt ein Blick auf eine beliebige Nachrichtenwebsite, um zu erkennen: Die Generation, die sich da so aufregt und die gewiss stets engagiert war, hat politisch ein Riesendesaster hinterlassen: einen verheerten Planeten, eine Welt, die „ein Spielball der international agierenden Konzerne, der smarten Oligarchen und nationalistischen Autokraten“ geworden ist – so sagte es Durs Grünbein am vergangen Mittwoch in der SZ. Ich könnte gar nicht anders, als die heutige Jugend zu verstehen, wenn sie den so wortreichen wie durchsetzungsschwachen Älteren kurz angebunden entgegenzischte: Shut the fuck up.

Aber das tut sie nicht. Die Jungen leben im Gegenteil ihr eigenes Märchen. Wie von Zauberhand scheint alles, was sie anfassen, zu gelingen: Ob sie nun ein von Patina etwas angelaufenes Gedicht auf dem Weg zu ihrer Ausbildungsstätte nicht mehr täglich im Blick haben wollen; ob sie erfolgreich MeToo-, Anti-Brüderle-, Anti-Gender-Paygap- und Anti-Rassismus-Kampagnen betreiben; ob sie gegen Naziabtreibungsparagrafen kämpfen, Inklusion durchsetzen und Barrieren abbauen – also konkret Freiheit für alle schaffen: Sie sind smart, gebildet, auf der Höhe des Diskurses.
nct  Left  IlliberalLeft  DasGeileNeueInternet  PoliticalCorrectness  ncpin 
12 weeks ago by walt74
The Futures of Global History
Global historians have long noted that forms of ethnonational resistance to globalization were themselves responses to new kinds of global connections. All the fundamentalist upheavals and jihads of the last hundred years, to give one obvious example, arose in response to increasing connection.[3] In any event, modern nationalisms, across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, both inside and outside Europe, were incubated within transnational and trans-imperial connections.[4] It is not even a new story. The mercantilisms of early modern European states, and the subsequent fabrications of Louis XIV and Whig England, for example, responded to the new acceleration of European and global trade propelled by the silver of Potosí and the gold of the Caribbean and Africa.[5] Anti-globalization is itself a phenomenon of globalization, and usually seeks to reconstitute the nation’s place in the world rather than to retreat into a disconnected autarky. Trump’s ‘America first’ and its international analogues are only the most recent incarnations of this reactionary dialectics.
Globalization  Politics  History  ncpin  nct 
march 2018 by walt74
Google Researchers Are Learning How Machines Learn
On Tuesday, a team at Google took a small step toward addressing this issue with the unveiling of new research that offers the rough outlines of technology that shows how the machines are arriving at their decisions.

“Even seeing part of how a decision was made can give you a lot of insight into the possible ways it can fail,” said Christopher Olah, a Google researcher.

MachineLearning  AI  AlgoCulture  nct  ncpin 
march 2018 by walt74
How Liberals Can Reclaim Nationalism
It’s time to fight back. Nationalism can, and should, be reclaimed for liberals. […]

American — and to a lesser degree European — political culture is pregnant with the symbols of inclusive patriotism. But while we have plenty of history to build on, we must also recognize that we are fighting to establish a kind of society for which there is no clear precedent.

In the United States, the model had once been a melting pot. But asking individuals to conform to one unified culture puts the price of admission to the nation too high. In Canada, the model is often said to be that of a salad bowl, in which the overall dish is enriched by the great variety of individual ingredients. But we can now see that this may be an overly idealized image of a society in which people feel that they have little in common across ethnic and religious divides.

There may not be a perfect culinary metaphor for the kind of country inclusive nationalists seek to create. But its contours should be obvious. It is a state in which all members have the same rights and opportunities irrespective of the group into which they are born or the culture to which they belong. It is a society in which people feel that they have something important in common because they seek to govern themselves together, pledge to help one another in an hour of need and recognize that these shared commitments are ultimately more consequential than any difference of color or creed. And it is a culture that does not shy away from celebrating the nobility of this collective identity — embracing the nation’s flag not because we claim never to have failed our compatriots in the past but because we aspire to realize a common future fair to all.
Nationalism  Politics  ncpin  nct  Left  NewLeft  Immigration 
march 2018 by walt74
(Extreme) Rechte in kommunalen Gremien
Wie viele kommunale Mandate werden aktuell von rechten und extrem rechten KommunalpolitikerInnen gehalten? Wie viele Sitze haben neben den alten Bekannten von NPD, den Republikanern oder der Pro-„Bewegung“ VertreterInnen des unübersichtlichen Sammelsuriums von rechtskonservativen WählerInnengruppen bis neonazistischen EinzelbewerberInnen, von rechten Kleinstparteien über christliche FundamentalistInnen bis zu türkischen NationalistInnen? Und wie stark ist die AfD wirklich?
AFD  Nazis  Politics  nct  ncpin  Election 
february 2018 by walt74
The Behavioral Ecology of Male Violence
My argument here is that homicide and warfare are very much ‘natural’ behaviors, often tied to male fitness interests; however, such behaviors are sensitive to socioecological cues, and their prevalence can vary significantly across and within societies. Even among chimpanzees, we see significant variation in rates of lethal violence between different communities, even for those located near each other.

An important strength of the behavioral ecology approach to understanding human behavior is that it goes beyond more narrow ideas rooted in genetic determinism or social constructionism. Violence is not ‘innate’ in the sense of being predictably and rigidly determined by genes alone, nor is it the arbitrary result of socialization or cultural learning. Yet violence is nonetheless rooted in human biology, particularly in sex differences between males and females, and the prevalence of violence can vary substantially across and within cultures due to socioecological factors.

In understanding the cross-cultural trends, as well as accounting for the variation, we can better understand both why males everywhere are, on average, more violent than females, as well as how best to reduce the prevalence of violence within our own societies.
nct  ncpin  Violence  Feminism  DasGeileNeueInternet  Amok  Terrorism  ToxicMasculinity 
february 2018 by walt74
Vergib mir deine Punkte
Wenn der Nutzer nach seinem Urteil gefragt wird, gibt ihm das das Gefühl, seine Meinung sei wichtig. Dabei sieht er doch nur algorithmisch kuratierte Nachrichten, zu denen er vorinstallierte Emoticons verteilen darf. […]

Das Individuum reduziert sich auf einen Ort der Rückkopplung, eine Instanz, die auf bilderreiche Reize reagiert und über persuasiv-sophistische Interfaces konditioniert werden kann.

Der vormals urteilskräftige, selbstreflexive Akteur bewertet algorithmisch kuratierte Nachrichten mit vorinstallierten Emoticons, drückt «Individualität» über einheitlich gestaltete Profilmasken aus – und wird im Trommelfeuer der Feedbacks zur informierten wie uniformierten Schaltstation. Im Hochgefühl vermeintlicher Bewertungsmacht macht man es sich gemütlich im florierenden «walled garden», versteht die Optionsvielfalt als Freiheit und wird so – ganz bequem – zum vorgefertigten wie selbstgemachten Produkt.
nct  ncpin  DasGeileNeueInternet  Psychology  Reputation  Filterbubbles  Capitalism 
february 2018 by walt74
Slavoj Zizek: Why do people find Jordan Peterson so convincing? Because the left doesn't have its own house in order
Peterson addresses what many of us feel goes wrong in the PC universe of obsessive regulation – the problem with him does not reside in his theories but in the partial truths that sustain them. If the left is not able to address these limitations of its own project, it is fighting a lost battle.
nct  ncpin  JordanPeterson  Philosophy  SlavojZizek 
february 2018 by walt74
'Consider Phlebas' TV Series in the Works at Amazon
In a competitive situation with multiple production companies bidding, Amazon has acquired the global television rights to adapt Consider Phlebas, the first book in author Iain M. Banks' so-called Culture series. Amazon will partner with writer Dennis Kelly (Utopia) and Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment, which will produce the potential series, with the estate of the late author set to executive produce. The drama has received a sizable script-to-series commitment, meaning should the script come in well, it would be ordered straight to series. (Or Amazon would have to pay a sizable fee if it passed on the project.)

Here's how Amazon describes Consider Phlebas: "a kinetic, action-packed adventure on a huge canvas. The book draws upon the extraordinary world and mythology Banks created in the Culture, in which a highly advanced and progressive society ends up at war with the Idirans, a deeply religious, warlike race intent on dominating the entire galaxy. The story centers on Horza, a rogue agent tasked by the Idirans with the impossible mission of recovering a missing Culture "Mind," an artificial intelligence many thousands of times smarter than any human — something that could hold the key to wiping out the Culture altogether. What unfolds, with Banks' trademark irreverent humor, ultimately asks the poignant question of how we can use technology to preserve our humanity, not surrender it."
nct  ncpin  Movies  News  Series  Literature 
february 2018 by walt74
Upload-Filter für alle außer Google, Facebook & Co?
Der Koalitionsvertrag zwischen CDU/CSU und SPD spricht sich gegen die Einführung von Upload-Filtern zur Urheberrechtsdurchsetzung aus. Auf EU-Ebene legt der deutsche CDU-Abgeordnete Axel Voss jedoch nun einen Vorschlag vor, der weiterhin Upload-Filter vorsieht und die Dominanz von großen Internetunternehmen sogar noch verschärfen könnte.
nct  ncpin  Memetics  Copyright  Politics 
february 2018 by walt74
Upload-Filter: Eine Gefahr für die Netzkultur
Ein EU-Vorschlag zur Urheberrechtsreform schreibt Plattformen das Vorab-Filtern aller Inhalte vor. Kritiker befürchten den Missbrauch als Zensurinfrastruktur. Auch im Koalitionsvertrag kritisieren Union und SPD die Filter als „unverhältnismäßig“, doch ein führender EU-Politiker der CDU hält erst recht daran fest. Das Vorhaben könnte Wikipedia bremsen und viele Meme aus dem Netz fegen.
nct  ncpin  Memetics  Copyright  Politics 
february 2018 by walt74
Analyse von Hass-Kommentaren: Lautstarke Minderheit
Sie wollen sich als Volkes Stimme inszenieren, doch tatsächlich steht hinter vielen Hass-Kommentaren im Netz nur eine verschwindend kleine Minderheit der Nutzer. Das belegt eine Analyse von Hunderten Diskussionen in sozialen Netzwerken aus dem Januar.

Der IT-Experte Philip Kreißel wertete dafür in Kooperation mit dem Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London Hunderte Diskussionen auf Facebook zu Beiträgen von Bild, Focus-Online, Kronen-Zeitung, Spiegel-Online, tagesschau.de, Welt sowie ZDF heute aus. Zentrale Ergebnisse: Lediglich fünf Prozent der Accounts waren im Januar für 50 Prozent der Likes bei Hass-Kommentaren verantwortlich.
ncpin  nct  DasGeileNeueInternet  Facebook 
february 2018 by walt74
Mett-Kreuze und "Deutschland erwache"-Rufe: Ein Tag mit der AfD-Jugend
Er sei der "festen Überzeugung", dass sich alle im Saal so präsentieren können, dass "selbst die Presse das nicht entstellen" könnte, sagt Krzysztof Walczak. Der 23-jährige stellvertretende Chef der Jungen Alternative redet vom Podium auf die Teilnehmer des Bundeskongresses der AfD-Jugend ein. Die entscheiden gerade darüber, ob Medienvertreter ausgeschlossen werden sollen. Die Journalisten dürfen bleiben. Im Laufe des Tages zeigt sich, was es heißt, wenn sich die Junge Alternative von ihrer besten Seite zeigt: unwidersprochene NS-Zitate, gegenseitige Beleidigungen und Bier am frühen Morgen.

Die Junge Alternative hat 1.600 Mitglieder, acht davon sitzen in der neuen AfD-Bundestagsfraktion. Einer von ihnen, Sebastian Münzenmaier, wurde im Oktober verurteilt, weil er einen Hooligan-Angriff angeleitet hat. Unter dem bisherigen JA-Chef Markus Frohnmaier ist die AfD-Jugend in den letzten drei Jahren immer weiter nach rechts gerückt, zahlreiche Verbindungen und Überschneidungen zu der vom Verfassungsschutz beobachteten rechtsextremen Identitären Bewegung wurden publik. Für manche Rechtsradikale war das allerdings noch nicht rechts genug. Ein JA-Landesvorsitzender kündigte vor dem Bundeskongress an: "Wir werden diesen ekelhaften Haufen von Opportunisten davonfegen." Gemeint war der bisherige Vorstand. Der AfD-Bundesvorstand und einflussreiche Strippenzieher, Andreas Kalbitz, meint: Die Junge Alternative sei "die junge Garde der konservativen Konterrevolution".
AFD  Nazis  ncpin  nct  Politics  Conservatism  Right 
february 2018 by walt74
Rechtsstreit um Domain: 50.000 Euro Spenden für AfD-kritischen Blogger
Eine Welle der Solidarität ermöglicht dem Betreiber der Seite wir-sind-afd.de, gegen das umstrittene Urteil des Landgerichts Köln in Berufung zu gehen. Das Gericht war der Ansicht der AfD gefolgt, es handele sich bei der Domain um eine Namensverletzung.

Blogs  AFD  LegalThreat  ncpin  nct  Nazis 
february 2018 by walt74
James Damore: The Case for Diversity
A 2015 meta-analysis published in PLOS One showed that all-else-being-equal, “the mere representation of females on corporate boards is not related to firm financial performance”. Another 2015 meta-analysis published in the Academy of Management Journal also found that across 140 studies, the relationship between gender parity on boards and market performance was near zero. What seems to matter most is not the gender of executives on a board, but their individual talents and team cohesiveness.

What about other kinds of diversity? Scott Page argues in The Diversity Bonus: How Good Teams Pay Off in the Knowledge Economy that cognitively diverse teams can lead to more innovation and better decision making. Indeed, this has been demonstrated by a recent study titled The Wisdom of Polarized Crowds (ªªhttps://arxiv.org/abs/1712.06414) whichºº found that polarization among Wikipedia editors leads to articles of higher quality.
JamesDamore  Feminism  Diversity  DasGeileNeueInternet  ncpin  nct 
february 2018 by walt74
The One State Delusion
cheerleaders for globalism, such as the New York Times columnist Tom Friedman have created a false dichotomy between the good guys (globalists) and the bad guys (nationalists). Hence the globalists have supposedly embraced the principles of free markets, free trade and free immigration and have chosen to create a more prosperous world free of conflicts between ethnic groups, religions and nations.

The nationalists, on the other hand, have been promoting the anachronistic values of identity driving a political backlash against globalization, calling for restrictions on the flow of capital, goods, and people, and celebrating various forms of tribalism.

In reality, what has happened is that “Friedmanism,” the grand theory that the economic forces of globalization would overcome nationalism and ethnic and religious conflicts proved to be an illusion, just as other notions of economic determinism—Marxism being the prime example—failed to materialize.

The Economic Man did not defeat the Political Man.
Politics  Left  Globalism  Economy  ncpin  nct 
february 2018 by walt74
Thinking Critically About Social Justice
Yesterday, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released a memo written by an attorney, Jayme Sophir, which determined that Google did not violate United States federal law when it fired James Damore. Sophir reasoned that references to psychometric literature on sex differences in personality were “discriminatory and constitute sexual harassment,” and on these grounds, Damore’s firing was justified. Following the release of the NLRB memo, a number of scientists on Twitter expressed alarm at the justifications provided within the memo, which appeared to relegate the discussion of sex differences outside the realm of constitutionally protected speech. […]

Google is far from the only Silicon Valley company where this occurs. A recent survey suggests the vast majority of conservative and libertarian employees at Silicon Valley companies are hesitant of being themselves at work, and that all but the very liberal feel less comfortable expressing their political views in the aftermath of Damore’s very public dismissal. Some of the responses were remarkable. One libertarian respondent claimed there’s a “concerted purge of conservative employees at Apple.” A conservative respondent experienced colleagues openly mocking conservatives and had to sit through “cruel mockery of my home state while others nodded and laughed along.” A Google employee claimed to have lost multiple talented colleagues who resigned rather than continue in “an increasingly extreme, narrow-minded, and regressive environment.” […]

There’s something missing from the social justice narrative though, demonstrated by the situation in Silicon Valley and those other fields I mentioned: it doesn’t take into account the power and oppression it exerts itself. In a society where social justice advocates are outside the dominant power structure—as was the case when these ideas were originally articulated—this doesn’t matter much, since their power is negligible. That’s increasingly no longer the case, as social justice advocates have come to exert major influence over central areas of society, and consequently have also gained substantial power over society as a whole. Clearly, an accurate model of societal power must include social justice ideology and its advocates.

If this seems strange, it’s because social justice advocates have created a portrayal of themselves as being outside the flow of power; everyone else is exerting power or being oppressed by it, while they are simply observing it, and any power they do exert is selfless and unoppressive. Oppression is class-based, we’ve been conditioned to think, or based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. We therefore don’t see the power and oppression exerted by social justice advocates, because it’s based on none of those things; it’s based on values.
DasGeileNeueInternet  ncpin  nct  Politics  IlliberalLeft  Feminism 
february 2018 by walt74
heise: Was anfällig für Fake News macht – Psychologen stellen Hypothese vor
Falschmeldungen – Fake News – werden demnach von Menschen geglaubt, die ihre politischen Überzeugungen oder ihre Zugehörigkeit zu einer politischen Partei höher bewerten als das Ziel, genau zu sein. Im Fall der Amtseinführung sei den Betroffenen die Zugehörigkeit zur republikanischen Partei und der damit verbundene soziale Status wichtiger als Genauigkeit in der Sache, erklären Jay Van Bavel und Andrea Pereira von der University of New York (USA).

Ihre Hypothese stellen sie im Fachmagazin "Trends in Cognitive Sciences" vor. Sie basiert unter anderem auf der Theorie der sozialen Identität, die sich mit Gruppenprozessen befasst. "Eine wirklich hochwertige Nachrichtenquelle ist nicht so wichtig, wenn wir glauben, dass die Menschen, die sie produzieren, einer anderen Gruppe angehören als wir", erklärt Van Bavel.

Paper hier: https://psyarxiv.com/ak642

Abstract: Democracies assume accurate knowledge by the populace, but the human attraction to fake and untrustworthy news poses a serious problem for healthy democratic functioning. We articulate why and how identification with political parties–known as partisanship–can bias information processing in the human brain. There is extensive evidence that people engage in motivated political reasoning, but recent research suggests that partisanship can even alter memory, implicit evaluation, and even perceptual judgments. We propose an identity-based model of belief for understanding the influence of partisanship on these cognitive processes. This framework helps explain why people place party loyalty over policy, and even truth. Finally, we discuss strategies for de-biasing information processing to help create a shared reality across partisan divides.
DasGeileNeueInternet  nct  ncpin  Psychology  FakeNews  Media  Journalism 
february 2018 by walt74
Sex and STEM: Stubborn Facts and Stubborn Ideologies
The U.S. National Science Foundation reports that women are awarded 57 percent of undergraduate STEM degrees, but with substantial differences across fields. Women earn the majority of degrees in the life and social sciences but less than 20 percent of the degrees in computer science and engineering, sex differences that have held steady for several decades. The STEM debate is primarily about sex differences in educational and later occupational choices in inorganic fields, those focused on understanding non-living things. These differences are socially important because these tend to be prestigious occupations, and practically important because the different numbers of men and women in these fields contribute, in part, to the sex difference in earnings.1

At the core of the obsession is the zeitgeist that there should be gender equity – equal outcomes – for anything of monetary or social value. The combination of an extreme agenda among some feminists and a stubborn sex difference has created a cottage industry focused on rectifying this ‘injustice.’ The federal governments in the U.S., U.K., and other Western nations have devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to interventions to close the gap. Some of the activities funded by these initiatives make sense and are possibly helpful in some ways, such as programs to increase interest in mathematics or programming among girls. Other programs, such as developing mentoring programs exclusively for women who are junior faculty in science and engineering in university settings (e.g., U.K. Athena Swan’s programs) are ethically problematic because they assume men do not need that level of support. From an evidence-based perspective, the most questionable and perhaps the most favored of these interventions are focused on stereotype threat, implicit bias, and microaggression.
ncpin  Feminism  Tech  Academia  DasGeileNeueInternet  nct 
february 2018 by walt74
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